The British charges are for jumping bail, which is not in dispute, he spent 7 years in the Ecuadoran embassy avoiding an extradition hearing.
However, the US government also has an extradition request, claiming conspiracy to hack (but not actual hacking of) government servers.
According to the indictment filed by the Department of Justice this consisted of: (See also this tweet storm)
- Receiving leaked documents from Manning.
- Using encrypted communications.
- Deleting logs to protect Manning’s identity.
- Encouraging Manning to dig up more documents.
It looks increasingly like the jailing of Chelsea Manning is an attempt to get her to testify (lie) that Assange engaged in a specific conspiracy with her to hack government computers.
Assange is a complete asshole.
He is also a biased* journalist, thought it is understandable: while Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton called for his apprehension and/or murder.
But he is still a journalist, and what he is being prosecuted for is classic journalism.
Here are links from from Craig Murray, Matt Taibbi, Just Security, and The Intercept.
Murray is a SitRep on Assange, and the other 3 are on the potential 1st amendment issues, which are legion.
My guess is that the Poodles in the UK will extradite Assange, and he will be convicted at a trial where he won’t have meaningful access to the evidence against him, and the judge will disallow any arguments that his actions were journalistic in nature.
Also, he will be tortured through prolonged solitary confinement while in custody.
*Kind of understandable though, since many avatars of conventional political and foreign policy wisdom were calling for his assassination.