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US offered Assange a deal because they fear acquittal – Former CIA officer

Assange plea deal news

On Wednesday, it was reported that the US government is considering offering Wikileaks founder Julian Assange a plea deal, dropping the espionage charges and allowing him to walk free on time served by pleading guilty to a lesser charge of mishandling classified documents.

Former CIA Officer, whistleblower and co-host of Sputnik’s Political Misfits, John Kiriakou told Sputnik’s Fault Lines that the Justice Department offered the deal because it is worried about what might happen in a trial once the Australian citizen is extradited to the United States.

“What would be worse for the administration than giving him a deal? What would be worse is bringing him all the way over here and having him acquitted – in an election year,” Kiriakou explained. “I think the Justice Department is far less worried about a [US] judge being fair as they are about a jury saying this prosecution is ridiculous and it should never have taken place,” he added later.

Kiriakou said he doesn’t know if Assange will take the deal offered by the US, noting that he heard that they previously offered to let him plead to one espionage case and get out of prison. That deal, it should be noted, has not been reported. “I think I’m not violating any promises to remain silent by saying [this] now that this news [of the newer plea deal] is out.”

Assange, Kiriakou said, declined the offer. “He said, not just no, but hell no. That he will not be responsible for the future prosecution of an American journalist because he set a precedent by taking a guilty plea to an espionage charge.”

“This [new offer] is not an espionage charge, but it’s in the same part of the US code as the Espionage Act. This is a misdemeanor,” Kiriakou explained. “It would be time served and again, they would just open the door, ‘You’re free to go.’…. But he realized from the very beginning of this that this case is far bigger than just Julian Assange. This case is about the Constitution itself.”

Assange standing on his principles shows the strength of the man, Kiriakou, comparing it to his own experience. “I was facing 45 years in prison and I have five kids. So the government offered me two and a half years. I served 23 months. [My other choice was] I roll the dice and go to trial, face 12 to 18 years. I took the deal. Julian Assange hasn’t taken the deal.”

During the George W Bush administration, Kiriakou revealed aspects of the US torture program taking place at the infamous US military installation in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay. He pleaded guilty to one felony count and became the first CIA officer to be charged for speaking to the press, and remains the only person to serve time in relation to the CIA torture program.

“But, to put me away for 23 months, they spent $6 million. Now, was it really worth $6 million of taxpayer’s money to put me in prison? Was society better off?” He asked hosts Jamarl Thomas and Melik Abdul. “I got out after 23 months. They made me famous, right? Nobody ever heard of me before I went to prison,” he continued. “I write articles that are published all the time in major outlets… I’m making more money now than I ever have in my life because of them.”

“I have another soapbox because of them,” he added. “So, do they really want to take that risk with Julian Assange?”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. As soon as Assange is free in the UK, he needs to go directly to Russia ASAP and ask for political asylum!
    The PTB will NOT stop until he is either dead or incarcerated under Cat 3 conditions, where he will be Arkancided!
    Hope someone gets word to Assange to do this- and hopefully the Russians read the NZDT comments section in order for them to prepare to receive Assange…

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