The WikiLeaks publisher left Belmarsh Prison on Monday morning and departed the U.K. headed to Australia,  WikiLeaks said.

Assange. boards plane at Stansted Airport in London a free man after striking a deal with the U.S. government. (WikiLeaks video via X)

By Joe Lauria
in London
Special to Consortium News

Julian Assange has agreed to a plea deal with the United States. He left Belmarsh on Monday and is headed to Australia, WikiLeaks said.

“He was granted bail by the High Court in London and was released at Stansted airport during the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and departed the UK,” WikiLeaks said in a tweet early Tuesday morning London time.   

Stella Assange, tweeted: “Julian is free!!!! Words cannot express our immense gratitude to YOU- yes YOU, who have all mobilised for years and years to make this come true. THANK YOU. tHANK YOU. THANK YOU.”

Assange was released as a result of a plea deal with the United States, the BBC reported. The British national broadcaster said:

“According to CBS, the BBC’s US partner, Assange will spend no time in US custody and will receive credit for the time spent incarcerated in the UK.

Assange will return to Australia, according to a letter from the justice department.

The deal – which will see him plead guilty to one charge – is expected to be finalised in a court in the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday, 26 June.” 

The New York Times reported that Assange agreed to the one count of the Espionage Act — “conspiracy to disseminate national defense information” —  in exchange for a five year sentence, which the U.S. agreed had already been served on remand in Belmarsh.

WikiLeaks released this video of Assange walking onto the pane on his way out of London, where he was imprisoned for five years. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported: “A court filing outlines a single criminal count of conspiring to obtain and disclose classified US national defence documents.” 

The newspaper said Assange pleaded “guilty to an Espionage Act charge of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified national defence information, the Justice Department said in a letter filed in court.” 

Bruce Afran, a U.S. constitutional lawyer, and Marjorie Cohn, former president of the U.S. National Lawyers’ Guild, both told Consortium News that a plea deal does not create a legal precedent. Therefore Assange’s deal would not jeopardize journalists in the future of being prosecuted for accepting and publishing classified information from a source because of Assange’s agreeing to such a charge. 

Afran said: 

“A plea is not precedent. Precedent consists of a decision interpreting a matter of law by an appeals court that will govern future cases on the same legal principle. In contrast, a plea is merely a factual agreement by a given defendant that they did a certain act, but does not bind future defendants in similar cases.

For example, if Julian chooses to drop his first amendment defenses and plead guilty, this does not mean that a similar defendant in the future does not have a First Amendment defense in an espionage act case. No appeals court has decided such issues, and Julian‘s plea does not bind future courts or future parties nor will it ever be considered in any other defendant’s case.

There is a doctrine that a person is bound to a factual decision, including a plea, only if they participated in that case. This means that no future defendant will ever be impacted legally, either by fact or law, as a result of Julian’s guilty plea. It has no precedental value or effect.”

The Mariana Islands are a U.S. territory where Assange will complete the deal in a U.S. federal court on Wednesday.

“Technically, he is coming to the U.S., [on the Mariana Islands] but not to the district where he was indicted,” Afran said. “And he could be taken into custody, but we assume the U.S. will act in good faith.”

Assange walking free at Stansted Airport in London. (WikiLeaks video via X)

Assange discusses plea deal with his lawyer Gareth Pierce. (WikiLeaks via X)

Aitor Martinez, a lawyer for Assange, released the charges that Assange apparently pled guilty to. He wrote: “Julian Assange has agreed a deal with the DoJ so he is finally FREE.” The document Martinez attached to his tweet reads:

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette, the London Daily Mail and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He is the author of two books, A Political Odyssey, with Sen. Mike Gravel, foreword by Daniel Ellsberg; and How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, foreword by Julian Assange.

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  1. Mike
    June 25, 2024 at 21:29

    Thank you Julian for exposing the US atrocities. May you and your family finally live in peace. Thank you Joe Lauria for your unwavering support of Julian.

    • Daniel BUCKLEY
      June 26, 2024 at 04:48

      Julian Assange was in protective confinement in the Ecuador Embassy in London, where precedent in the diplomatic sanctity of Embassies was shatterd ,when he was forcefully removed.
      He was never convicted of a crime and spent further time in isolation in the hi security Belmarsh prison. A total of 10 years confinement.]
      Another abuse by the British Govt is the whereabouts of the Skripals ,Father and Daughter, who have been confined incommunicado for over 6 years ,
      This relates to the Salisbury incident of their poisoning by persons and methods unknown but blamed on Russia ,without real evidence.
      The Skipals may be able to answer these question,but the British Govt has silenced them should their narrative differ from the propaganda version.

  2. Jimm
    June 25, 2024 at 19:54

    So Mike Pence lashes out at the plea agreement stating that this will endanger the lives of US military personnel. In reality Pence and his ilk are soaked in military blood. Serving their masters somehow translates to “keeping us safe”, the great con job. And to Mr. Assange, thank you immensely for your service.

  3. sisuforpeace
    June 25, 2024 at 19:13

    Despite the under-handed and low level dealings of the US justice system, I am so happy to hear Julian is finally free! Thank you to CN for keeping Julian’s story alive and to everyone who supported all efforts to free him. I truly wish Julian and his family all the very best and I hope they can find happiness in their lives at last.

  4. June 25, 2024 at 13:03

    The extorted release of Julian Assange by the ill named United States Department of Justice highlights the putrid nature of what passes for justice in the United States and the United Kingdom, legal systems that punish the innocent and reward the guilty through “plea bargains”, really a system for extorting the innocent by threatening them with draconian punishment if they do not agree to accept often unfounded prosecutorial accusations. Conversely, the guilty are given sentences much more lenient than they deserve for their wrongs. The former is certainly what happened in the case of Julian Assange but it is so obvious that prosecutors just wanted cover for their own crimes of lesse humanidad that it highlights the plight of millions of Americans and others subjected to this ludicrous travesty. Plea bargaining is capitalism imposed on the justice system, a “let’s make a deal or else” concept identical to that used by extortionists in organized crime, an obvious form of state sponsored racketeering. I’m thrilled that Julian Assange is free but it’s analogous to a situation where after having murdered millions, the Nazis (or Zionists) let one of their victims survive after torturing him or her into confessing that he or she was a traitor to the master race. No punishment could be too severe for those responsible, not only for prosecuting the Assange case but all other plea bargains where innocent people are coerced into admitting guilt in order to escape from continuing torture. Had the Biden administration any trace, any semblance of decency, it would have released Julian Assange with profound apologies and just compensation for the torture inflicted upon him for having dared to seek and share the truth concerning terrible state sponsored crimes. But that was not the case and the Biden administration needs to be held accountable rather than given credit. But the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom are not the only vile villains. The purported profession of journalism finds itself indelibly stained by its conduct throughout the Assange saga, especially media such as the United Kingdom’s Guardian or the United States’ Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Decent people should boycott every enterprise that supports them through advertising or grants or just plain bribes.

    • hetro
      June 25, 2024 at 16:36

      Thank you for this comment. Additionally, “any semblance of decency” would recognize that although publishing classified information COULD be subject to breaking the law, it would NOT be whenever this law functions as cover for real criminal behavior. In such a case, as with Julian’s, a possible infraction would be dismissed in terms of the greater good. Surely, the greater good is what laws should be founded on, especially in terms of the possibility for a criminal entity and special interest group of a few to take over an administrative structure. That this has happened is manifestly obvious and has been clear for years in Julian’s case. How can anybody at this point reconcile a drastic change from 175 years of imprisonment and/or execution with the plea bargain sentencing at hand now? This alteration is profoundly suspect of falseness, especially given that no harm has been found from his actions, that he took such care to protect service members from danger, that the culprit of the crime itself has already served years in prison and been pardoned. As such it is thus unfortunate and bizarre that Julian was forced into this perversity for the sake of self-preservation. Officials of the US governing system should at least offer apology and some sort of compensation. Unfortunately, too, he must take seriously that his life is still in danger. Such is the depths to which “the system” of the US has become perverse instead of based on moral and just principles.

    • Litchfield
      June 26, 2024 at 00:19

      I thought that plea bargains were NOT allowed in the British justice system (regardless of what other travesties of justice are ubiquitous under that system).

      In the US people are bullied into copping a plea often by their own lawyers, who know perfectly well that admitting to a crime—even if they accused denies any crime and the lawyer believes him or her—may be the best, or the only, way for an accused person to get on with their lives and for criminally overcrowded courts to reduce their dockets.

      Of course this means that the accused do not get a chance to prove their innocence (or, the DA does not have to prove t heir guilt, since the accused are presumed innocent until proved guilty) in a court of law judged by their peers. But if they do choose for their case to go to trial, they can expect much harsher treatment if the verdict is guilty.

      And so accused who have never had a trial end up with a record. But the alternatives are worse. It’s a Hobson’s choice.

      There are many ways that DAs and especially assistant DAs can exploit this “plea deal” system in the USA. I copyedited a whole book on the subject.

      • Consortiumnews.com
        June 26, 2024 at 00:50

        This was a deal between the US and Assange. Britain was not involved. The British court only has to receive written communication from both sides that their matter has been resolved.

        • Anaisanesse
          June 26, 2024 at 12:50

          Thank you for that clarification . The UK has done a monumental amount of damage to Julian and justice, but the USA of course shoulders most of the responsibilities for the persecution of an honest journalist.

  5. kurt
    June 25, 2024 at 12:42

    Amazing news! The most important HERO of our time is going home. It is unfortunate that he has to sign this plea deal but good news that it doesn’t set legal precedent for future real journalists. The only negative thing is that the US government and its media lap dogs will use his guilty plea in perpetuity to slander Assange and propagandize the masses about the plea when they feel it’s convenient for them. He is guilty of nothing!

  6. jamie
    June 25, 2024 at 12:06

    This wonderful event highlights the significance of grassroots movements, independent journalists like Consortium News, and the profound impact of public demonstrations raising awareness and pressuring politicians and media.

    If people recognized their influence and power it could prevent us from being led into war by incompetent and narcissistic leaders, it could shield us from media outlets spreading propaganda, cleverly concealing uncomfortable truths. We could free ourselves from manipulative governments and exploitative officials. The nature of our government and politicians mirrors the level of maturity, intellect, and courage of their citizenry.

    Imagine if we could shift our perception of ourselves, gradually becoming aware of our animal, human, social, and cultural dimensions, recognizing that’s perhaps the only true power we hold… knowing ourselves rather than letting others define us… maybe that’s all it takes to make positive changes.

  7. Carolyn/Cookie out west
    June 25, 2024 at 11:30

    Every night I touch the photo of Julian on the wall and pray for his freedom and happiness. I think Biden wants as many progressives voting for him. Am glad for Julian and his family. Oh, U.S. Territory the Mariana Islands! colonialism continues by U.S.A. Think about US taking Hawaii and Alaska as States! // May Julian realize many admire him and always will.

  8. Joy
    June 25, 2024 at 11:19

    May he make it safely back to Australia and receive a hero’s welcome!’

    • D'Esterre
      June 26, 2024 at 08:28

      “May he make it safely back to Australia and receive a hero’s welcome!’”

      News reports here at present say that he’s arrived in Canberra. About which I’m greatly relieved and very pleased. I’d feared that the US might pull some sort of stunt, but maybe the fact of world attention stayed officials’ hands.

      I’m not so sure about the hero’s welcome, though. Like many NZers, I have family in Australia. Some time ago, a relative and I discussed Assange’s case. Said relative – who gets all their news from the MSM – was very negative about him. I’d guess that view is fairly widely held over there.

      Yes, he certainly has supporters, and obviously they’re out in force tonight. It’s instructive for me to note that I’ve heard nothing from my relative, who would normally communicate with me about political matters. I shall diplomatically refrain from mentioning it…..

  9. Litchfield
    June 25, 2024 at 11:14

    Thank God.
    All due respect to CN for sticking on this case like a barnacle.

    Assange looks a heck of a lot better striding to his plane than Biden doing the same thing!

    Which suggests to me that Assange, despite the fears and the stresses and the prolonged attempt to break him, is still mentally strong.

    I have read speculation that the administration wanted to clear away negative detritus in the run-up to the “debate,” and the “election,” but IMO this just looks like another pathetic own goal by the TPTB in DC and London.

  10. BettyK
    June 25, 2024 at 11:06

    I NEVER ASSUME the U.S. will act in “good faith” especially now after all these years and the CIA’s plan to murder Assange. I do hope with all my heart that Assange will be able to live the rest of his life a free man and that his mind and body have not been too damaged by the evil already perpetrated against him.

  11. vinnieoh
    June 25, 2024 at 11:00

    I won’t believe it until he’s in Australia after the 26th (tomorrow or Friday.) The US must prove to all that it WILL act in good faith. Damn shame that my American life experience has made me so cynical that I think this smells like a set-up.

    Per the article, BBC says plead only to ONE charge? That document seems to show several, especially since they’re listed item by item (and there’s pages not shown.) The smell’s getting stronger… Seems the organs of state info (NYT, BBC, Syd. Herlad) all got the heads up from the higher-ups.

    However, only a grotesque mind would consider such a trick as palatable ? Right? Would be political napalm, and disastrous.

    It will be interesting to find out just what conditions will be “arranged” by the Australian government for Assange’s life as a free man.

    Thanks, Joe, for this report.

    • Richard Coleman
      June 25, 2024 at 21:27

      I agree. The lowlifes who call themselves the US government are capable of any perfidy, any doublecross. They bear grudges (you thought the mafia was bad? HA!), and they’re both demented and vicious. They may not take any rational facts into consideration if their lust for revenge is strong enough. I’ll be holding my breath until Julian is safely home.

  12. June 25, 2024 at 10:42

    “Bruce Afran, a U.S. constitutional lawyer, and Marjorie Cohn, former president of the U.S. National Lawyers’ Guild both told Consortium News that a plea deal does not create a legal precedent. ”

    This is technically correct, but totally misleading. This was a HUGE defeat for press freedom and the First Amendment and it enhances the power of the National Security State and allows Assange’s persecutors to evade accountability.

    I’m happy that Julian is free, but that should not shade the ugly truth here.

  13. Crown
    June 25, 2024 at 10:41

    The U.S. always finds its conscience around election time. Funny little quirk isn’t it. Very happy this helped Assange though.

  14. Richard Burrill
    June 25, 2024 at 10:29

    This is great for Julian and his family!!! I had thought the UK courts would give in to the war criminal US and send Julian to them to have his life totally ruined. Congratulations UK courts for finally doing the right thing. Live long and prosper, Julian!

  15. June 25, 2024 at 10:19

    Many, many THANKS are also due to all of you at Consortium New, who, more than any other news/opinion outlet I know of, have kept the story of Assange’s de facto kidnapping, 12 year detention, and solitary confinement, — upon the most preposterous of chimerical charges, — alive, and front and center, in your reporting for all these years of his miserable torment!!

  16. Steve Hill
    June 25, 2024 at 10:14

    Until he’s safely at home, I wouldn’t “assume” that the U.S. will do anything in good faith when it comes to Mr. Assange. Let’s just hope.

  17. June 25, 2024 at 10:10

    “Technically, he is coming to the U.S., [on the Mariana Islands] but not to the district where he was indicted,” Afran said. “And he could be taken into custody, but we assume the U.S. will act in good faith.”

    Good luck with that! When did the U.S. ever act in good faith?

  18. Linda Edwards
    June 25, 2024 at 10:05

    Thank you Joe Lauria for reporting on this vital case through all these years.

    You kept us informed during a blackout, or worse, by MSM.

    You played a significant role in securing his freedom.

    Let praise reign down on you.

    • Andrew Thomas
      June 25, 2024 at 22:39

      Amen to the thousandth power, Linda.

  19. torture this
    June 25, 2024 at 10:00

    About 5 seconds of joy followed by the same ol’ hatred for everyone that had a hand in his persecution. I’ll never be able to relax unless he moves to the state of a US “enemy”. Lots to choose from. This empire can’t be trusted just because they mostly did the right thing once.
    One thing I do feel confident of — his acceptance of the deal will not jeopardize any other reporters. He’d have died in prison, first.

  20. Chris N
    June 25, 2024 at 09:49

    While any plea deal is a farce, I’m happy for Julian Assange and his family

  21. susan
    June 25, 2024 at 09:47

    OMG – Finally!! I just hope he makes it home safely! I wouldn’t put it past the US to do something sneaky and underhanded…

  22. JonT
    June 25, 2024 at 09:33

    The BBC News home page has an item titled ‘Who is Julian Assange and what did he do?’ An unintentionally hillarous headline coming from them. If they had given even a small amount of coverage to Julian compared to you all at CN, then their readers might know the answer.

  23. hetro
    June 25, 2024 at 09:08

    Despite what Afran said, it is difficult to see how no precedent is set here regarding future vulnerability for journalists since the very act of receiving the information was deemed “conspiracy” hence the condition. Ergo receiving = co-conspiracy in the view of the court as stated.

    This is amazing and let him get home at last!

  24. Frank Lambert
    June 25, 2024 at 09:02

    Like the others, plus Julian’s family and friends, I’m elated the bloody Brits finally released him from further suffering for not committing a crime but exposing real war crimes and crimes against humanity by my own country’s imperial war machine.

    Assange is a First-Class Hero of the world for standing up for Truth, Justice, and Honest Journalism and may he recover from all he’s been through the past twelve years and live happily ever after with his wife Stella and their loved ones and friends.

    I hope he’s not harassed by the Australian government which has been becoming more oppressive as it’s part of the Anglo-American-Zionist Empire (of chaos) for world conquest (which isn’t gonna happen), but given sincere accolades which he rightly deserves by the Aussie government and his fellow citizens.

    And special thanks to ALL the lawyers, journalists, demonstrators, especially in the UK but here in the states and everywhere else who made their voices and thoughts heard about freeing him and CN’s Joe Lauria, for a fine job covering the events during Julian’s incarceration.

  25. June 25, 2024 at 07:52

    Thank You Joe

  26. mgr
    June 25, 2024 at 07:48

    Please live and prosper.

  27. Larry McGovern
    June 25, 2024 at 07:37

    While there are countless individuals and organizations, too numerous to itemize here, one person above all deserves our thanks and praise, and that is our fearless, tireless CN editor Joe Lauria. Without the incredible coverage Joe’s editorship has provided – including daily on-the-scene reports during the judicial proceedings – where would we be??!! That’s one superlative journalist, covering the persecution – and now FREEDOM – of another superlative journalist.

    Bob Parry smiling down on the CN stewardship of Joe Lauria. Can’t thank you enough, Joe.

    • Valerie
      June 25, 2024 at 16:18

      Yes Larry. The best, comprehensive cover of this tragic affair was from Consortium News. We would not have had a quarter of information from the MSM. Thankyou indeed to all who participated in this lengthy ordeal for Julian Assange and his family.

  28. Robert Emmett
    June 25, 2024 at 07:03

    Shout out to you, CN, for your stalwart coverage of the trials & tribulations of Julian Assange. At last he is shut of that damned cell. May he find renewed strength breathing freely in the comfort of family & friends.

    Freedom. What a sweet word. But how easily & recklessly it’s crushed by the very ones charged to uphold its guarantees who instead misuse their power for personal gain in vindictive & feckless ways. That’s the precedent that still cries out to be undone by the world’s press. Thanks for doing your part, CN.

  29. Arch Stanton
    June 25, 2024 at 06:32

    And still the snakes and rats that work in the British &
    US media continue to peddle lies and smears – the BBC interviewees this morning did not slam shut the ‘fit-up’ rape case from Sweden and, some US spokesmen spoke about the ‘slap on the wrist’ he’s received for endangering US military personnel etc.

    Even now these lying maggots of human being are controlling the narrative.

  30. MeMyself
    June 25, 2024 at 05:46

    Yeah! Happy to hear it!

  31. Steve
    June 25, 2024 at 05:22

    Good news, but what next ?
    Australia is not a free country, it is an offshoot of the hegemon, and part of the problem.

  32. JonT
    June 25, 2024 at 03:00

    At long long last. Something we always hoped for but feared would never happen. But until Julian is on home soil nervousness remains.

  33. julia eden
    June 25, 2024 at 01:06

    a plea deal?

    they could not just let him go.
    with tons of apologies for all the messes and
    the misery they put him through, could they?
    [i do hope they don’t come for him again!]

  34. ZimInSeattle
    June 25, 2024 at 00:41

    Such awesome news. I was looking at my free Assange sticker on my car the other day thinking I’d never get to take it off. ?

  35. anon
    June 24, 2024 at 23:14

    It’s Uncle Sam who should be seeking a plea deal for his many crimes, not Julian.

    This is bog standard US judicial blackmail – plead guilty to some nonsensical charge or rot in a hell hole dungeon for years and eventually appear before a kangaroo court.

    • michael888
      June 25, 2024 at 08:01

      98% of federal crime charges are plea bargained. People have to admit they are guilty, and the alternative is horrific.

      Still it’s great news, almost unbelievable since Assange was a CIA pet project all these years in the Embassy/ jail. Let’s hope he quickly recovers his health (he’s only 52) and can continue his life as he sees fit, unhindered by these fake charges.

    • Robert
      June 25, 2024 at 09:26

      It is a good day, and long overdue. Congratulations and thank you to Consortium News. Admirable persistence displayed. The glass is at least half full today. But the stench of US (and UK) government action remains. And the cowards in mainstream Western journalism remain silent and in place.

  36. D'Esterre
    June 24, 2024 at 23:14

    I’ll be relieved, and pleased for Assange, once he’s back in Australia. I note that he’s headed for the Mariana Islands: I wouldn’t put it past the US to pull a remanding-him-in-custody stunt while he’s in US territory, though I certainly hope not.

    “….he could be taken into custody, but we assume the U.S. will act in good faith.”

    The US acting in good faith? Good luck with that….

    I wonder if the Australian MPs visiting the US last year to lobby for his freedom has anything – even tangentially – to do with these events? I guess that it’s possible.

    And from the Pedants’ Society: since we’re using English here, the past tense of “plead” is “pleaded”. It’s a regular verb.

    • Ray Peterson
      June 25, 2024 at 08:08

      Faith in the demonic is tricky business, but Stella is
      so happy and Julian looks healthy. If there is a
      modicum of justice in the world it’s the God of
      love to ultimately thank

    • gary p supanich
      June 25, 2024 at 11:06

      D’Esterre, thanks for pointing out the proper use of the past tense of “plead.” Journalists should know better. As an appellate attorney, I cannot count the times that I encountered this misuse of language. Of course, such a minor point is overshadowed by the liberation of Assange. But remember that Orwell warned us about the political importance of using language correctly, so it is not a pedantic observation.

    • Litchfield
      June 25, 2024 at 11:20

      From another member of the pedants society, per the Oxford English Dictionary it is “pled” in North America.
      Per Merriam-Webster, it is “pleaded or pled.”

      Genuine pedants always look it up in the dictionary before correcting others! ((:-))

      • D'Esterre
        June 26, 2024 at 02:10

        Oxford has succumbed to US usage, but nonetheless, “plead” is still a regular verb, thus “pleaded”. As are “heed” and “knead”. Do Americans say “hed” or “kned” ? If so, I’ve never seen or heard it.

        • Litchfield
          June 26, 2024 at 16:41

          Oxford has not “succumbed.”

          It merely states the North American usage. (I assume that CN, an American platform, follows standard US usages.)

          Same for M-W: its info is that both forms are used in North America, whose regions reflect, among other things, many of the usage inconsistencies in the areas of the British Isles where different English-speaking colonial populations originated.

          The American Heritage Dictionary also lists “pleaded” or “pled” and provides this usage note:

          “Usage Note: In strict legal usage, one is said to plead guilty or plead not guilty but not to plead innocent. In nonlegal contexts, however, plead innocent is well established. · The Usage Panel prefers the past tense pleaded over pled outside of legal contexts. In our 2008 survey, the entire Panel found pleaded acceptable in He pleaded with me to give him the part, in contrast to 60 percent who accepted the same sentence using pled, and only 38 who found pled completely acceptable in this use.”

          This confirms my own sense that “pleaded” is preferable, and actually used, in nonlegal contexts, whereas “pled” is preferable in legal contexts.

          As for your examples of other verbs, “heed” is not even analogous with “plead” and “knead.”

          Actually, the frequency with which I see “lead,” spelled like the metal (instead of correct “led”), used as the past of “lead” (as in lead a horse) shows how much confusion there is out there.

          Perhaps you are a non-native speaker and are still flummoxed by the inconsistencies and variability of the English language!

    • litchfield
      June 26, 2024 at 00:05

      Oh, and by the way, that would be Pedants Society (no apostrophe), since presumably it is a society OF pedants (that is, made up of pedants or whose members are pedants), not a society POSSESSED BY or the PROPERTY OF pedants.


  37. Drew Hunkins
    June 24, 2024 at 22:35

    Good news. Nice to see this.

    • Valerie
      June 25, 2024 at 04:01

      I couldn’t believe my eyes LeoSun. I burst into tears and my little dog came and put her paws on my knee and was licking my hand. She didn’t realize they were tears of joy.
      And a strange dream i had just before i woke up, had me walking along a crescent shaped sea bay. There were houses at each end of the bay and many people on the beach. They were watching a competition taking place in the sea. And then i read that Julian is headed to the Mariana islands. (Which i had to look up as i had no idea where they were.)


      • D'Esterre
        June 29, 2024 at 08:28

        “Another abuse by the British Govt is the whereabouts of the Skripals ,Father and Daughter, who have been confined incommunicado for over 6 years”

        Yes indeed. In this household, we’ve recently been talking about the Skripals.

        One family member thinks that they’re no longer alive. Which is certainly possible. As with the US, there appear to be no depths to which the British establishment will not sink, in pursuit of its Russophobic project.

        It’s incumbent upon the British government to tell the rest of us what’s happened to them. We’re not holding our breath about that happening in the near future. Or perhaps ever, if the information can be kept secret.

  38. Tim N
    June 24, 2024 at 22:16

    I am astounded! In the coming months perhaps we will learn more about how and why this came about.

    • Travis
      June 24, 2024 at 23:25

      Thank goodness! Not ideal, but this is still the best news we’ve seen in a long time. Plea deals apparently do not set a legal precedent?

      The one quotation about finalizing the deal on US territory does have me a bit nervous (“he could be taken into custody, but we assume the U.S. will act in good faith.”). How confident are we that they will act in good faith?

      • Litchfield
        June 25, 2024 at 11:22

        No assurance whatsoever of that.

        However, if this is basically a PR move on the part of the DC swamp critters (and also the same UK ilk), as speculated, I think we have reason to hope that the US will, for once, act in good faith and stick to the deal.

  39. LeoSun
    June 24, 2024 at 22:15

    JULIAN ASSANGE has left Belmarsh Prison, forever! “Hip! Hip! F/Hooray!!!”

    ‘Shout Out’ to “The Beast,” USG’s DoJ, for doing the right thing!!!

    A “SINGLE” Count! AND, “Sentencing,” for time already “SERVED,” is forthcoming (hours, away)! Julian Assange agreed to “Own it. Do it. Done & Dusted!!!”

    “Homeward Bound”… S C O R E!!! The “Assurance” IS it’s almost over. Just a “Couple More f/Hoops,” for Julian Assange, to jump through!! AND, Julian Assange will “FINALLY” be set FREE!!!” A COLOSSAL WIN!!! AUSTRALIA, is getting ready to “Welcome,“ Julian Assange, HOME!

    No doubt, Sydney, sings, “Welcome, Home,” Julian Assange & Family, Friends, Attorneys, Counsel, Lawyers!!!” Onward & Upwards!!!

    “Unchain My Heart,” Hugh Laurie hxxps://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8HrmAgYE-6k&pp=ygUXSHVnaCBsYXVyaWUgc2V0IG1lIGZyZWU%3D …….

    • Valerie
      June 25, 2024 at 04:03

      Sorry LeoSun. Somehow my reply to you, i managed to send to Drew. (In all the excitement.)

      • LeoSun
        June 26, 2024 at 15:52

        Noooooo probllama, Valerie. Agreed, the “excitement,” is outta this world!!! Simply believing, if, it was true or NOT! It was absophkenlutely stunning!!! It’s been way f/overwhelming!!! I imagine this “feeling” is universal.

        Valerie, about your dream, “YOU, CALLED IT” before you dreamed it! And, your “pupper” loves you!!!

        …….. [“WE MUST NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF OUR BELIEFS & PRINCIPLES]; AND, this little victory, against the evil-doers shows there is a way if we keep on pushing and we are many. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. FREE THE INNOCENT,” Valerie 5.20.24,

        Valerie, EVER SINCE, it has been a daily reminder, for me & others, an affirmation of what is, 100% true; &, now we know, what we didn’t know, “The Strawberry Moon,” in all its full on glory was “bringing” to Australia,

        ……. “JULIAN ASSANGE “Springing” into “Summer” in Australia w/his Assange family, Wikileaks family, friends, advisors, counsel, lawyers, attorneys, 100’s of Australians who get this is!!! JULIAN ASSANGE is HOME!!! Finally, FREE of the Beast’s dirty, grubby, bloody, infected claws squeezing the life outta Julian Assange, 24/7, for 14+ YEARS!!


        This time, it wasn’t a bat or crowbar, “we” the people got hit with! Au Contraire, “The Beast,” specifically, the “A U,” in AUKUS, hit it way, waaaay outta the f/park, past the bay, over the moon, it’s outta this world!!!

        A “Home Run” as great as * JOE LAURIA’s on that GREAT Day, in MAY!!! NOOOO Doubt About It, Julian Assange’s Defense Team’s, working partnership w/Australia’s PM & Ambassador Rudd (sp) “GOT” it the flock “DONE & DUSTED,” brought Julian Assange, Home. CONGRATULATIONS, Australia!!! “FREE AT LAST!”

        ……….p.s. Absolutely awesome are the many, many, many Spot-On “Comments,” herein; &, hearing from Assange’s Family, Defense Team, for years, Jen Robinson & Barry Pollock who’s been Julian’s friend way f/before he became his Defense Atty., too. Ms. Robinson, Mr. Pollock, Everybody, f/rocks!!!

        TY, VALERIE, CN et al., “Keep It Lit!” ciao

        Resource: “Assange WINS Appeal!” JOE LAURIA @ hxxps://consortiumnews.com/2024/05/20/assange-wins-right-to-appeal-on-1a-issue/

        • Valerie
          June 27, 2024 at 15:04

          I had more tears when i saw Julian hugging Stella in Australia. It was such a precious moment. (TY for the link. I seem to cry a lot.)

          “People love WikiLeaks when it is exposing corruption in their opponents. People oppose WikiLeaks when it is exposing corruption or dangerous behavior in themselves.”

          Julian Assange

          • LeoSun
            June 28, 2024 at 01:34

            Awh, Valerie, all day long, I, “cry, a lot.” However, on Monday morning, 6.24.24, my husband’s response, to my crying wasn’t nearly as loving as your pup’s, i.e., he asks, “What’s wrong?” Through tears, i say “Julian Assange has left Belmarsh Prison!” He says, “So, why are ya crying?” I say to him, “Ya know, “Norman,” everybody thinks you’re an a_ _ hole. I’m the only one who knows you’re not.” I digress.

            Onward & upwards w/The “BRAVERY” of Julian & Stella Assange. How does that NOT bring everyone to tears?!? It’s “Living & Loving, Out Loud.” Dr. West.

            In the words of Roger Waters, “We can turn this ship around. Together, we can make tomorrow’s “News.”

            “Just Like, Starting Over,” John Lennon; &, Paul Simon’s, “Dazzling Blue,”

            ……. “Sweet July And We Drove The Montauk Highway; And, walked along the cliffs above the sea; And, we wondered why and imagined it was someday; And, that is how the future came to be. Maybe Love’s an accident or destiny is true? But, You & I were born beneath A Star Of Dazzling Blue.”

            “Shout-Out” to “The Bravery of Julian & Stella Assange.” In joy. TY, Valerie, CN, et al. Ciao

            ……p.s., Like in your dream, “the cliffs above the sea,” come true! &, “the End” & a beginning, for everyone. “We” just “got” to be “heads up!” We’re still looking for a Leader, whom “we” can trust. Imo, Ralph Nader or Clare Daly; & Montauk is @ “the End” of Long Island, NY. Ciao.

            • Valerie
              June 28, 2024 at 18:33

              Well i hate to say this LeoSun, but you’ve shattered my illusion. All this time i thought i was replying to a very sensitive man. (Of course, you could still be a man.) Norman cannot be an a__hole if he’s married to LeoSun. I seem to have problems with crying and gender identification. LOL.
              I still love your humour and musical selections. “A Star of Dazzling Blue.
              Matches the bravery of a very few.”
              Clare Daly for president. That would be wonderful. She’d sort everybody out.

  40. susan mullen
    June 24, 2024 at 22:12

    Thank heaven! Congratulations to Mr. Assange. It was con artist Trump who got him moved from Ecuador to UK, Pompeo bellowed he wanted most severe punishment for Assange–who’d broken no US law. Assange to me is a hero. Hopefully Trump doesn’t win in 2024, but Assange would never have been freed under Trump/Pompeo.

  41. Colin
    June 24, 2024 at 21:53

    This is how CNN describes the charge: “US officials alleged that Assange goaded Manning into obtaining thousands of pages of?unfiltered US diplomatic cables?that potentially endangered confidential sources, Iraq war-related significant activity reports and information related to Guantanamo Bay detainees.”

    Guilty of “goading” a source for source material, what all investigative journalists do, of course, how ever one parses “goading”. Let’s never mind the irony of the last part of CNN’s assessment, of which (1) we already have US Congressional testimony that no confidential sources were endangered, and that Assange, himself, redacted and/or adamantly admonished others in possession of the materials not to publish raw; (2) that the US committed an enormously grave crime against humanity illegally invading Iraq, which posed no proximate security threat whatsoever, which, of course, we all know perhaps most baldly from Paul Wolfowitz’ brazen admission that he and the Bush cabal actively fabricated a false defense pretext to invade since they of course knew their desires were really geopolitical and capital; and (3) the burning US crime of Guantanamo, incarcerating endlessly, while torturing, many innocent people on no charges, and even when the US understands their innocence.

    Anyway, as someone not a lawyer, I am unsure why Assange’s plea won’t lead to “legal” precedent for destroying other journalists, except for the horse sense that precedence is perhaps created through argued law and not merely via a defendant accepting a plea.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      June 24, 2024 at 22:03

      Bruce Afran, a U.S. constitutional lawyer, told Consortium News that a plea deal does not create a legal precedent. Therefore Assange’s deal would not jeopardize journalists in the future of being prosecuted for accepting and publishing classified information from a source because of Assange’s agreeing to such a charge. 

      • Rebecca
        June 25, 2024 at 03:08

        Your second sentence’s meaning is unclear. But what is apparent from Assange’s experiences and guilty plea is that the US government has successfully prosecuted a journalist for revealing its own crimes, and effectively kept him incarcerated without a criminal conviction for more than a decade – first in the Ecuadorian embassy, then in HMP Belmarsh. Were Russia to have done this, the outrage from the US establishment would have been never-ending. The lesson for democracy and journalism is obvious: don’t put your head over the parapet, conform and you’ll prosper.

      • MeMyself
        June 25, 2024 at 08:26

        I don’t understand. They did prosecute a journalist and no sign they won’t continue to prosecute journalists.

        Incarcerate before a jury conviction.

        The lack of legal “precedent” is a joke!

        If I was Assange I would pull another Consulate.

        The lack of truth that was on display is impossible to ignore.

  42. Riva Enteen
    June 24, 2024 at 21:27

    What a breath of hope, Julian gave us. He beat back the US war machine. Let’s take it as a sign that the tide is turning, from Ukraine, to Palestine, China, Korea, BRICS, de-dollarization, end of petrodollar…Is the empire finally collapsing? Julian, the truth teller, helped.

  43. David Otness
    June 24, 2024 at 21:22

    What a travesty this has been. So glad he’s homeward bound.

  44. Carolyn L Zaremba
    June 24, 2024 at 20:43

    While I am glad Julian is free to return home, his plea deal will be used by the United States as the means to charge even more journalists with espionage in the future. Chelsea Manning endured imprisonment and torture rather than lie that Julian had committed espionage. What will this mean, now that Julian has copped a plea to espionage? Who will be next?

    • Consortiumnews.com
      June 24, 2024 at 20:54

      Bruce Afran, a U.S. constitutional lawyer, told Consortium News that a plea deal does not create a legal precedent that in this case would jeopardize journalists in the future of being prosecuted for accepting and publishing classified information from a source because of Assange’s agreeing to such a charge. 

      • Roy Little
        June 25, 2024 at 10:48

        Craig Murray has also stated this opinion: “But the precedent is only in a court of first instance so is not binding” hxxps://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2024/06/the-happiest-of-days/

      • minecritter
        June 25, 2024 at 16:08

        What about legal precedent for Assange himself? I mean, if the plea deal can’t be legally used against other journalists, what if Assange goes back to work and publishes something else? They’d surely use it against him, right? What jurisdiction could he live in, the moon?

    • Nathan Mulcahy
      June 24, 2024 at 21:43

      The ZOG of USA needs no precedence. It does whatever it wants to do.

      The good news is that this impunity is slowly but definitely vanishing.

      • floyd gardner
        June 25, 2024 at 20:58

        The “G” can do as it wishes – as long as the “ZO” has no problem with it.

  45. Tobin Sterritt
    June 24, 2024 at 20:34

    HURRAH!!! (understatement of the year for me : ) )

  46. Richard Mynick
    June 24, 2024 at 20:33

    Part of me is teary-eyed and wants to say something simple, like “Thank God.” But I will *never, ever* forgive the US empire for what they did to him.

    I wonder what cynical calculations caused the SOBs to relent. Whatever it was, I’m certain it wasn’t pangs of conscience, since they have none. Maybe they thought it might help Biden’s poll numbers.

    • Sick and tired
      June 24, 2024 at 21:00


    • robjira
      June 24, 2024 at 21:07

      “Maybe they thought it might help Biden’s poll numbers.”
      That’s exactly what I was thinking, too. Or they thought to deny DT the honor of pardoning Julian.
      All in all, I’m relieved Julian has been released (’bout effing time, too.).

      • JonnyJames
        June 25, 2024 at 11:14

        The DT had years to “pardon” Julian Assange, he did nothing. In fact, his Consigliere, Fat Mike Pompeo, wanted to put a hit out on Assange. WTF?

    • Arch Stanton
      June 25, 2024 at 05:29

      100% with you on this, mind you, this is still the best news I’ve heard in a very long time.

      Ps It won’t be long until the backstabbing duplicitous Guardian newspaper will start ‘gushing’ about Julian, especially when he finally speaks out to a Tucker Carlson style interviewer, just remember never believe a word that corporate mouthpiece writes about Julian.

      • D'Esterre
        June 26, 2024 at 07:56

        “It won’t be long until the backstabbing duplicitous Guardian newspaper will start ‘gushing’ about Julian…”

        It has already begun, it will come as no surprise to you to hear!


        I read some of that out to my partner. Where was the Guardian when Assange was incarcerated? I asked.

        I do not believe a word that the Guardian prints. About anything. Even were it something as self-evidently factual as the day’s weather, I’d still duck outside to check that it was so.

    • June 25, 2024 at 10:30

      Probably they knew that they would never get a conviction from a truly impartial jury.

    • hetro
      June 25, 2024 at 13:52

      I doubt anyone reading here is now ready to bolster Biden’s poll numbers, plus you have Pence’s reaction (condemnatory as threatening the troops) which is likely to draw a lot of approval and outrage from the Right. An idea a few weeks back was Biden feared the mess of having another protest on his back if Julian were finally extradited. But IMV they were up against the latest UK judges who had requested assurances and not received them. If all the official arguments were exhausted, they might have refused to cooperate further to imprison him in order to assuage their own professional reputations.

  47. Lois Gagnon
    June 24, 2024 at 20:30

    Finally! Some good news. May he and his family live in peace and love for the rest of their days. Thank you Julian for shining a light in the darkness. You paid a heavy price. You are what courage and heroism look like.

  48. Richard Romano
    June 24, 2024 at 20:26

    What good news. But what is the deal he has reached?

    • D'Esterre
      June 26, 2024 at 08:03

      “But what is the deal he has reached?”

      A very cynical family member thinks that Assange gave the US material information (sources, eg), in return for his freedom. I’m dubious about this: in the first instance, it seems to me that that’s the last thing Assange would do. And secondly, could there be anything that the US doesn’t already know about his sources?

  49. Jeff Harrison
    June 24, 2024 at 20:19

    I would say Thank God! but I don’t know what the plea deal is…..

  50. Em
    June 24, 2024 at 20:11


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