First of all, I wrote some time ago that Assange should have walked out of the embassy. Manning was falsely imprisoned and also tortured, and Assange was often threatened with death by US officials. However, he would have been better off walking out under his own power.
Still, I understand his reluctance.
Manning was convicted by court-martial in 2013 of espionage and other crimes for providing more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to Wikileaks, though the final 28 years of her sentence were later commuted by President Barack Obama. [Source]
Let's get something out of the way before further delving into this whole situation.
Assange didn't rape anyone in Sweden. The women both had consensual sexual intercourse with him. The only objection was that upon sleeping with him and having sex a second time, he didn't wear a condom and that they allegedly didn't realize it until they were already in the act. Sweden blames the male if he doesn't inform the woman first that he isn't wearing a condom. Apparently, upon having sex the first time, each woman had him wear a condom. One or both woke up (while literally sleeping in the same bed with him by choice) because he engaged in sexual intercourse again in that same night (or day).
Do I think Assange was wrong? I have no idea how groggy he was. All women also have responsibilities concerning with whom they have consensual sex, protected or not. If he was well aware that he was about to engage in sexual intercourse again with either one and remembered the first request to wear a condom, then he was morally wrong. However, in no sense can that rise to the level of the crime of rape. Also, neither was impregnated and neither came down with a sexually transmitted disease. The only difference between the first and second acts was the absence of a condom; however, he owes both an a sincere apology and should understand how anxious either or both may have been about pregnancy and/or STDs (legitimate anxiety I'm not minimizing here). That might not satisfy certain radical feminists, but certain radical feminists can be beyond the pale (beyond reasonable/rational).
Okay, back to the main issue:
"The indictment accuses Assange of assisting Manning, a former U.S. intelligence analyst, in cracking [wrong; allegedly attempting to crack] a password that helped Manning infiltrate Pentagon computers." Exactly how could the US government possibly know that? If the US government could have intercepted and cracked any encrypted communications between Assange and Manning, the US government could have done a great deal more to shut WikiLeaks down completely and have identified many others who've supplied WikiLeaks. If the US government doesn't have reasonable grounds, reasonable evidence, then Assange and Manning should walk free right now.
Furthermore, if the US was engaged in war crimes (it was), it is established law that anyone, and I mean anyone, can arrest those ordering and carrying out those war crimes. Anyone can legally disclose the illegality no matter how the information was obtained. Chelsea (at the time Bradley) Manning acted completely legally when supplying WikiLeaks with definite evidence of US war crimes in Iraq. Once it was established that the US government was engaging in and covering up such war crimes, Manning and Assange were free to hack for more info because neither would have had any government to turn to bring the US government to account. This is where international law trumps all nation-state law, including anything the US government attempts to bring against Manning or Assange (or Snowden).
Hopefully, you're aware of the documentary, "Collateral Murder." It, and other evidence leaked via WikiLeaks, clearly shows US war crimes that were covered up. The cover-up is why Manning acted.
At the time [of the alleged assistance Assange attempted to give Manning to crack a password], Manning had already given WikiLeaks classified information about U.S. war activities in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as Guantanamo Bay detainees, prosecutors said. The scheme would have allowed Manning to log in to the network anonymously and avoid detection, the indictment said. [Source]
So, there you go. The US government has locked itself in chronologically. First came the evidence of war crimes, then came the alleged attempt to ferret out more evidence of war and other crimes. Therefore, there was no illegality on the part of Assange or Manning. The US government stands condemned by its own words and misdeeds.
The US government has no legal right to make US illegality secret and to protect itself by doing so. Anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.
I don't care if Assange did try to help Manning crack the password. If he did try, it's too bad he didn't succeed. Manning might not have gone to prison for exposing war crimes. However, there's always the flip side. Manning's history is now chiseled in granite. Current and future generations will know Assange, Manning, and Snowden were correct in what they did.
To Hell with corrupt governments regardless of the nation-state. If the US government is corrupt, then to Hell with it.
It's up to the People of the US to clean things up, to do away with all the corruption, all the illegalities, all the war crimes and lies and human rights violations, etc., the endless regime-change wars and on and on.
Assange's WikiLeaks also published proof that the Hillary Clinton campaign cheated Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic Party Presidential nomination.
... Ecuador's government cut off his [Julian's] internet access after WikiLeaks published a trove of damaging emails from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. [Source]
So, there was Assange and WikiLeaks exposing election fraud in the US at the highest levels. What did he get for that? He was praised by Principled Progressives and Libertarians and trashed by everyone else, including the US Security State (owned and controlled by the US plutocracy). Some Republicans who ordinarily hated him also thanked him, but that didn't last long once the Republican's took the White House.
As for Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, he's totally corrupt. See: INA PAPERS (open it in Chrome, and let it translate it for you). That will be fully shown over time. He lied through his teeth to get elected. You can't trust a single thing he says about Julian Assange and Julian's behavior in the embassy. Moreno is a CIA puppet. He's kissing up to the Empire.
"In line with our strong commitment to human rights and international law, I requested Great Britain to guarantee that Mr. Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face torture or the death penalty," Moreno said. "The British government has confirmed it in writing, in accordance with its own rules." [Source]
That's mighty weak. The US government denied torturing Manning. Life in a US deep-state prison might also be worse abuse than receiving the death penalty.
Also, the Moreno government's claim that it didn't know there was a sealed indictment against Assange in the US is at best an admission of utter ignorance, as it was plastered all over the news, or a flat-out lie. I'm leaning toward flat-out lie.
The indictment, filed in March 2018 and unsealed on Thursday, said Assange in March 2010 engaged in a conspiracy to help Manning crack a password stored on Defense Department computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications. [Source]
Moreno is in a mad scramble to close everything down in Ecuador to stop the investigations into Moreno's corruption. It won't work.
Pamela Anderson outraged over arrest of Julian Assange, a 'hero'. That's good on her part, but what I'm most interested in is where the major US candidates for US President will come down. Tulsi Gabbard has made clear that she doesn't believe Manning, Assange, or Snowden should be anything but free and hailed for having done good work in exposing US corruption, etc. Of course, that was before the "password cracking attempt" allegation/charge. She might not understand the full legal issues and opt for waiting to learn more about it. I encourage her to read this post and my legal position on the matter, which position above is absolutely correct.
They did nothing ultimately illegal, as the US Constitution makes itself subject to binding international laws the US has signed. That international law sides with Manning and Assange. Therefore, neither is guilty under US law. It's really that simple.