Assange Sucks, but Espionage Charge is Bogus

I gotta be honest, there are few people on Earth worthy of our censure and disgust than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. Whether it’s the credible rape allegations, his pathetic use of the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid the law, or his obvious and unethical influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Assange deserves our collective disdain. He also deserves to be in jail, but not for Trump’s trumped up charges of espionage.

The recent barrage of charges levied at Assange by Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice are nothing more than an attempt by the Trump administration to set a precedent to go after journalists for political reasons. First, let’s be clear that Assange isn’t a real journalist. He simply published stolen and classified information on the internet. What he did was despicable because it was brazenly partisan and dishonest by being diabolically selective. However, the espionage charges could set a legal precedent that would put legitimate and ethical journalists in jail for publishing information that came to them from sources who obtained the content illegally. Basically, they could face criminal charges for publishing leaked documents.

The problem is the Espionage Act of 1917 that was passed primarily to punish people who stole or disseminated classified information for the purpose of harming the United States or aiding a foreign enemy. However, the law also made it a crime to receive that type of information and, further, made it a crime for anyone who may have looked at it thereafter. So, under this law, the journalists who exposed government wrongdoing at Abu Ghraib would be criminally liable, as well as every single person who read the story. Obviously, the law is inextricably flawed and in conflict with the First Amendment.

Of course, Assange should be punished for his myriad of criminal and reprehensible actions. But, prosecuting him under the Espionage Act may open a very ugly can of worms and spawn a slew of unintended negative consequences. The Trump administration wants to unleash this ugly can of worms because it thinks it will allow them to quash stories that hurt them politically. In other words, the Barr can’t go any lower.

Most legal scholars agree that the Espionage Act was poorly written and point out that no one has ever been successfully prosecuted under it. Congress should have fixed this law a long time ago, particularly because there are other laws that could hold someone like Assange accountable without jeopardizing First Amendment protections. The Trump administration purposefully chose this legal route because they hope it will lead to their ability to throw journalists in jail who expose government malfeasance.

So, even if you don’t give a rat’s ass about Assange or his legal issues, this case should trouble you deeply. It’s just one more example of Trump turning the presidency into a third-world dictatorship.

In America, we’ve never had a president that has attacked the media like Trump. In fact, Trump has even suggested implementing a state-run media that would spout his propaganda. Hey, if it works for his boyfriend, Kim Jung-Un, why not here, right?

Liberals have got to stand up for a free and unrestricted press. Just because conservatives can’t handle the truth doesn’t mean it should be labeled fake news. It certainly doesn’t mean that we should be throwing reporters in jail.

Now, more than ever, it’s important for journalists to safeguard their sources and perform their due diligence with the highest ethical standards. We can’t let Trump and his ilk turn America into a banana republic.

The Washington Post may claim that “Democracy dies in darkness”, but at twentytwentynews we think “Democracy dies in apathy”.

Time to Commit the Twitter Twit

Franklin, Contributor

For all the blistering criticism facing the Facebook, they finally did something laudable this last week when they banned dangerous morons like Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Louis Farrakhan, and a few other deplorables from their social media site.  Of course, Trump, aka Twitler, decided that the best use of his presidential executive time on a Saturday morning was to defend these hate-mongering, anti-Semitic, conspiracy-loving shitheads by claiming that they were the victims of unwarranted censorship. He went on to talk about how social media was biased against conservatives… Well, if that’s whose speech conservatives choose to cherish, then maybe there is some bias?

Well, alt-right dumbasses, that’s correct! Social media is, indeed, biased against people who promote hate speech and violence. In fact, it’s a perverse modern miracle that Trump’s even allowed to tweet out his banal, hate-filled bullshit when he ought to be, well, doing his job! That’s true, even if half of Twitler’s Twitter followers are Russian bots or Rudy Giulliani using multiple assumed identities.

As a Canine-American, I have more dignity, honor, and self-respect when I secretly eat cat turds out of the litterbox than when Trump Twitler crazy tweets at all hours from his gaudy gilded commode. Ooops- did I say that out loud?

I mean, the truly sad part is that this imbecile currently has a 46% approval rating and that fully a third of Americans thinks he’s doing a bang-up job. Of course, these same people thought Duck Dynasty and Honey-Boo were national treasures and wholeheartedly believe professional wrestling is real. They also think Betsy DeVos put the ‘y’ in education. They delight in ignorance, cruelty, and selfishness. Sadly, they require saving from themselves.

Look, it’s time to commit the Twitter twit. Trump isn’t making America great again, he’s lining his pockets and pissing on every last thing we hold dear in this country. It’s not just the documented ten thousand lies, it’s his blatant obstruction of justice, money laundering, and penchant for putting self-serving dipshits in charge of government agencies whose sole objectives are chaos and destruction. Trump needs to be committed to a penal or mental health facility. It’s not just his perpetual demeaning of the presidency or obviously criminal acts, it’s his unrelenting bigotry and peevish partisanship that’s turning America into a third-world autocracy.

Trump has triggered a constitutional crisis by ignoring Congressional subpoenas and illegally resisting any type of oversight or accountability. His Republican sycophants are willing accomplices and, they too, do not deserve the offices they hold. It’s time to hold Trump accountable on a very short leash. To commit to voting him out of office or committing him to a place where he’ll feel comfortable wearing his natural color, orange.

He has no business being in the White House when he exhibits conduct that’s suited for the Big House. Folks, it’s only going to get worse as he remains in the Oval Office. We’ve got to ensure the investigations continue, and more importantly, that we vote his sorry ass out in 2020, if he’s not already facing impeachment.

Our government works when we, the people (and enlightened Canine-Americans), hold it accountable. I mean, we saw this coming when we found out that there’d be no dog in the White House. I don’t think it’s because he didn’t want one, I think it’s because dogs have good sense about people and no dog wanted to be around him. It’s just a theory.

So, let’s quit chasing our tails and let’s wake up from our national nightmare. Americans are what make America great- in all their wonderful diversity and their commitment to authentic American values.

Trump and his ilk have no values and no conscience. It’s time to commit the twit.

Hurricane Crazies- A Short Story by Bernie Morgan

Bernie Morgan, Contributor

The day of the “big” hurricane, the one we had always feared, was upon us. She was ‘a comin!! My in-laws, plus granny, descended on my house like a herd of migrant workers. The next thing I knew, granny was filling every bottle in the house with water; I’m not kidding – we had to clear a path to get from the kitchen to the living room. Next, she scrubbed the tub and filled it, too.  Oh, well – nobody was much interested in taking a bath anyway; plus, if this baby was as big as they said she was, we were all going to get plenty wet anyway. Suddenly, my mother-in-law started dragging blankets out of the linen closet – at first, I thought it was to pad the area where the sliding glass doors were (if you live in Florida, sliding glass doors are a must-have) but, no, she was settling in on the couch and my father-in-law was wrapping himself up and getting comfy on my loveseat. (Did I mention that we were in FLORIDA where blankets are only for show?  – you never take them out and actually use them.) About that time, my father-in-law yelled: “When are we going to eat?” Feeling the need to escape,  I ran into the dining room – that’s when  I heard a loud thumping noise against our  bay window – were we being bombarded by huge limbs from those high winds we were told were headed our way? NO, it was our stupid horse banging his head against the glass – even he wanted in!! I had a few words with him and then I shut the drapes. I yelled to my husband, “Who let the damn horse out – let me guess.” He said he had read in a book that that is exactly what you should do in a situation like this – let the animal run free.  I knew I was losing “it” so I took off for the family room (big mistake) where I came upon one of our two teenagers – the female one. She was walking around in short shorts and was barefooted (you can get away with that 24/7 in Florida, even when a hurricane is coming). She was pouting because we wouldn’t let her use the phone while it was lightning, and she said she was bored. I said, “Get me a gun so I can kill myself.” About then, I heard a loud thumping at the front door. I looked through the peep hole and, you guessed it – it was “the horse” only this time I was looking at his rear end (always a pleasant sight.) Upon closer inspection,  I realized that he was making a deposit, if you know what I mean. I yelled out, “Did you let the damn pig out so he could run free, too? I knew by the look on my husband’s face that, yes, he had. I was in a dad gum loony bin. I took off for my son’s room where I found him sprawled out on his king-sized waterbed (people are really into water down there) reading a surfing magazine, snacking and listening to a mellow Bob Marley song. Always Mr. Cool, he looked up and said, “What’s up, ma?” I said, “Move over and hand me the chips – there’s a bunch of crazies in the house.”