WikiLeaks' Assange in Ecuador embassy London: Seeks political asylum

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WikiLeaks' Assange in Ecuador embassy London: Seeks political asylum

Assange Asks for Political Asylum in Ecuador

http://www.rt.com/news/assange-political-asylum-equador-236/

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, according to the site's Twitter. Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino says Assange has taken refuge in the South American nation's embassy in London and is seeking political asylum..."

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Assange has betrayed Wikileaks and its principles

Quote:
Assange is accused by two women of sexual assault during a short break in Sweden in 2010. The first claims he held her down with his body weight during sex and that she was a victim of 'unlawful coercion'. The second claims that after they had protected sex one night, she awoke to find Assange having sex with her while she slept without a condom.

The question is not whether Assange did these things. That is a matter for trial. The question is whether he has questions to answer. It is plain from the accusations that he does. The only other view is that being an activist who challenges American imperialism somehow exempts you from criminal responsibility.

Assange's dismissal of these charges, and that of his overly-eager supporters, is simply abysmal. It is part of a depressing tapestry, where violence against women – alleged or proven – is treated as a sub-plot to politics, music or sport. Chris Brown, who violently assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna, is now invited to perform at award events as if nothing had happened. Mike Tyson, who was convicted of raping an 18-year-old girl, announced yesterday he was bringing a show to Broadway with the help of celebrated film director Spike Lee. Assange's supporters, who include some of the most respectable and impressive figures on the British left, seem to have the same blindspot. Unfortunately, his actions have smeared by association people as pivotal as film director Ken Loach and campaigning journalist John Pilger.

Caissa

He never knows when to Quit(o).

macktheknife

Ecuador? I thought he was accused of rape not mass genocide.

NDPP

The Strange Case of the WikiLeaks Editor and the Swedish Prosecutor

http://www.nnn.se/nordic/assange.htm

"I have discontinued the preliminary investigation and the charge originally designated as rape. There is no suspicion of any crime whatsoever." Senior Prosecutor Eva Finne

 

Assange's Mother: Australia Puppet Gov't Aided US Persecuted Julian

http://www.rt.com/news/julian-sweden-prosecutor-rights-284/

"Julian not only hasn't been charged, he hasn't even been questioned despite asking the Swedish government to do so for the last two years. The concern is of course that given the flagrant abuses of his human and legal rights in the Swedish case for two years, their refusal to adhere to their own police procedures and their own prosecutorial standards, that were he to go to Sweden, where he would be jailed straightaway, uncharged and unquestioned, he would not have the opportunity to seek political asylum...

Once Julian had been detained in Britiain for 17 months she [Swedish prosecutor] has continued to refuse to question him either at Scotland Yard, or the Swedish Embassy, and my son says the reason for this is that once he's questioned, then they have to either let him go or charge him, and obviously they have no evidence to charge him. That's why they're not questioning him and people who have studied this case believe it is nothing more than a holding case for a US extradition..."

NDPP

WikiLeaks' Assange Faces Arrest if he Leaves Ecuador Embassy, Police Say

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/wikileaks-assange-faces-arrest...

"...Some legal experts said they were mystified by the reasoning behind Mr Assange's dramatic asylum bid. But human rights lawyer Helen Kennedy, a former member of Mr Assange's legal team, said he could be planning to bargain with Sweden for assurances he would not be handed over to the US. She said if granted such assurances, Mr Assange might be willing to go to Sweden voluntarily.."

UK Police Want Assange As He Seeks Asylum in Ecuador

http://www.rt.com/news/assange-subject-arrest-london-273/

"Meanwhile legal experts say, that if asylum is granted, Assange will avoid legal proceedings seeking his extradition to Sweden and he will be provided safe passage from the UK to Ecuador.."

Merowe

That Nordic News link is very useful, thanks NDPP.

Personally, I'm relieved Mr.Assange has finally taken matters into his own hands, instead of sticking around to be led, sheeplike, to the small cold windowless cell that otherwise awaits him. I was horrified when he presented himself to the British authorities in the first place - how could he be so credulous? But they've shown their hand and he has acted prudently.

For those who insist on taking the bait so clumsily proffered by state actors that this has anything to do with what happened in a couple of Swedish bedrooms, from NDPP's link, I invite you to refute the evidence gathered here:

http://www.nnn.se/nordic/assange/sequence.htm

Knock yourselves out.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 

And that "evidence" is based on whose account? Not those two women's that's for sure...

 

The idea the USA, which by the way hasn't officially charged him with anything yet, couldn't have extradited him from Britain any easier than from Sweden is pretty preposterous.  If they really wanted him they could have very well got him. If the Swedish prosecutor wants to talk with him face to face in Sweden, now, then he should go; unless of course you think he's above the law for some reason.

 

To me it seems like Assange is acting like he's running from extradition to the USA when in fact he's (really) running form extradition to Sweden to face questions and charges about a sex crime he allegedly committed. I agree with the assessment he is abusing his privilege as an anti-imperialist celebrity to escape answering for an incident involving his personnel behavior that is unrelated to Wiki leaks (aside from the USA/CIA conspiracy he is trying to push to justify his current behavior).

 

NDPP

Assange Asks Ecuador For Asylum  -  by Glenn Greenwald

http://www.salon.com/2012/06/19/assange_asks_ecuador_for_asylum/singleton/

"The WikiLeaks founder is motivated by one thing: a desire to avoid extradition to the US. Can anyone blame him? Assange, like everyone else, is entitled to a presumption of innocence before he's charged, let alone convicted of anything.."

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

NDPP wrote:

Assange Asks Ecuador For Asylum  -  by Glenn Greenwald

http://www.salon.com/2012/06/19/assange_asks_ecuador_for_asylum/singleton/

"The WikiLeaks founder is motivated by one thing: a desire to avoid extradition to the US. Can anyone blame him? Assange, like everyone else, is entitled to a presumption of innocence before he's charged, let alone convicted of anything.."

Yeah it's funny how that also gets him off the hook with the sex charge case in Sweden as well. He's quit the slippery wiesel and has managed to kill two birds with one stone.

By the way what has the USA charged him with again?

Merowe

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

NDPP wrote:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/wikileaks-st...

Assange Asks Ecuador For Asylum  -  by Glenn Greenwald

http://www.salon.com/2012/06/19/assange_asks_ecuador_for_asylum/singleton/

"The WikiLeaks founder is motivated by one thing: a desire to avoid extradition to the US. Can anyone blame him? Assange, like everyone else, is entitled to a presumption of innocence before he's charged, let alone convicted of anything.."

Yeah it's funny how that also gets him off the hook with the sex charge case in Sweden as well. He's quit the slippery wiesel and has managed to kill two birds with one stone.

By the way what has the USA charged him with again?

On January 26, 2011, Fred Burton, the vice president of Stratfor, a leading private intelligence firm which bills itself as a kind of shadow CIA, sent an excited email to his colleagues. "Text Not for Pub," he wrote. "We" - meaning the U.S. government - "have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect."

The news, if true, was a bombshell. At the time, the Justice Department was ramping up its investigation of Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, which over the past few years has released hundreds of thousands of sensitive government documents. An indictment under the 1917 Espionage Act would be the most serious action taken to date against Assange, possibly paving the way for his extradition to the U.S. (Assange is currently under house arrest in Britain fighting extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.)

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/wikileaks-st...

NDPP

He has never been charged with any crime in Sweden. As for the barbaric practices and absence of habeus corpus or any due process in the United Snakes, and the sealed indictement for Assange, 'Can anyone blame him?'

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

So basically he's running from an "alleged" sealed indictment that may or may not exist for charges that have not been made for something that truth be told the USA cannot really prove (that Assange, himself, conspired with Manning to obtain and release classified US documents)?

I can assure you if he ever came to the USA for a trial he will get his due process and everything else along with a full blown media circus trial never seen before since OJ that will last for years. (god help us all) I hope he stays in Enrique or where ever he runs too...

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Just because he is paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get him. After all look at the deluxe accommodations the US has given to Bradley.  His own room with no one to bother him, ever.

Wink

Guardian wrote:

 

The US vice-president, Joe Biden, today likened the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to a "hi-tech terrorist", the strongest criticism yet from the Obama administration.

Biden claimed that by leaking diplomatic cables Assange had put lives at risk and made it more difficult for the US to conduct its business around the world.

His description of Assange shows a level of irritation that contrasts with more sanguine comments from other senior figures in the White House, who said the leak had not done serious damage.

Interviewed on NBC's Meet the Press, Biden was asked if the administration could prevent further leaks, as Assange warned last week. "We are looking at that right now. The justice department is taking a look at that," Biden said, without elaborating.

The justice department is struggling to find legislation with which to prosecute Assange.

Asked if what Assange had done was criminal, Biden seemed to suggest it would be considered criminal if it could be established that the WikiLeaks founder had encouraged or helped Bradley Manning, the US intelligence analyst suspected of being behind the leak. Biden claimed this was different from a journalist receiving leaked material.

"If he conspired to get these classified documents with a member of the US military that is fundamentally different than if someone drops on your lap … you are a press person, here is classified material."

Asked if he saw Assange as closer to a hi-tech terrorist than the whistleblower who released the Pentagon papers in the 1970s, which disclosed the lie on which US involvement in Vietnam was based, Biden replied: "I would argue it is closer to being a hi-tech terrorist than the Pentagon papers. But, look, this guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of people in other parts of the world.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/19/assange-high-tech-terrorist-...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Assange apparently sees a kindred spirit in the President (or Prime Minister?) of Ecuador according to a report I just saw on Newsworld. That person has been encouraging Assange and said to him "don't get assassinated".

Merowe

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

So basically he's running from an "alleged" sealed indictment that may or may not exist for charges that have not been made for something that truth be told the USA cannot really prove (that Assange, himself, conspired with Manning to obtain and release classified US documents)?

I can assure you if he ever came to the USA for a trial he will get his due process and everything else along with a full blown media circus trial never seen before since OJ that will last for years. (god help us all) I hope he stays in Enrique or where ever he runs too...

 

الله أكبر

Ah, fine then. You should share the good news with the humbler denizens of Guantanamo, who strangely lack your confidence.

Ghislaine

But Obama closed Guantanamo within one year of taking office, Merowe! Don't you remember? 

 

Merowe

Ghislaine wrote:

But Obama closed Guantanamo within one year of taking office, Merowe! Don't you remember? 

 

ha! Indeed, I stand corrected, thank you Ghislaine.

 

wage zombie

I support Julian Assange in his quest to avoid a life sentence for leaking classified material.

I have never heard of anyone seeking international asylum for charges of sexual assault and I don't understand people who thing that's what's happening now.

I don't think this compares to Mike Tyson or Chris Brown at all.  How come they're not seeking asylum in Ecuador?

onlinediscountanvils

 

Thanks for posting, CF.

Caissa

Usually when you claim asylum aren't you trying to escape persecution rather than prosecution?

6079_Smith_W

@ wage zombie

Whatever else is being made of this case, and however this case may be being exploited by the U.S., it is important to not let any of that eclipse what precipitated this legal action in the first place. 

Am I torn by this situation? Absolutely.

But going back and reading the complaint I'd say there is something there that is independent of any conspiracy, something which should rightfully be answered, not swept under the rug:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

 

Do I think Ecuador should not grant him asylum? That's a hard question, because clearly this situation is not just about that initial complaint. But I think we'd do well to expand our perspective enough to acknowledge that there is more than one thing going on here.

 

6079_Smith_W

Normally yes, but then there's Roman Polanski and Josef Mengele (not to equate the two).

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Caissa wrote:

Usually when you claim asylum aren't you trying to escape persecution rather than prosecution?

No I don't think so.  Many refugees flee countries when they have been accused on trumped up charges of treason or some other crime against the state and fear for their lives if arrested. They run rather than be sent into the bowels of a torture system. Often prosecution is the method of persecution.

Caissa

Granted. My point in Assange case is that I don't believe he has any legitimate grounds upon which to be requesting asylum. 

6079_Smith_W

I don't know. If he thinks he might be tortured or executed for espionage I don't think anything written in any presumed rule book is necessarily relevant.

He asked, and it is up to them to say yes or no. In any case, it seems like this is his one shot at it. It's not like he can go shopping around in a cab.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 

And, like I've said before, it's all based on the speculation he is even going to be persecuted or whatever by the USA... there is NO evidence he had any contact with Pvt. Manning. A judge ever stated that during one of Manning's pre trial hearings.

Farther more, USA jurisdiction is more limited than you think; he is not a US citizen nor was he or his web sites servers in the USA when his web site published documents the US government failed to safeguard. They cannot prove that he even stole, handled or read any of the documents let alone be the one whom actually posted them to the web site.

US officials can talk all the shit and make all the threats they want about Assange but in the end they really don't have a strong case against him. This would not be an open and shut case for the US government; it would be a media circus that could backfire in their faces. If their case was so strong they would have extradited him from Britain while he was under their control (everybody here seems to forget this all the time).

As I've said before I think he's using this as a smoke screen for skipping away from what's happening in Sweden. But that's just me...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If the USA wants Assange extradicted, then it's fair to ask why. It's also fair to ask what Assange faces in the USA if he is in fact extradicted.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

But really everybody stop for a second and think about it; if it ever happened, his arrival, pre trial detainment and trial in the USA would be so fucking covered by the media the feds would be scared to death if anything happened to him. There's no fucking way they would torture him like he wants everyone to believe.

That's nonsense. He could be whisked away and placed in solitary confinement  far from the eyes of any reporters. The USA has prisons all over the world they can use, including their own military prisons. All anyone in authority has to say is "that's classified information relating to a terrorist suspect or national security threat" and that'd be the end of it.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

EDIT: I agree with that Boom Boom. some of the answer is below...

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I don't know. If he thinks he might be tortured or executed for espionage I don't think anything written in any presumed rule book is necessarily relevant.

 

Yeah, he wants everyone to believe that...

But really everybody stop for a second and think about it; if it ever happened, his arrival, pre trial detainment and trial in the USA would be so fucking covered by the media the feds would be scared to death if anything happened to him. There's no fucking way they would torture him like he wants everyone to believe.

I mean come on folks, I know most of you here hate the USA and all that (and that's fine) but we're talking about a privileged white male here... Yeah, jail would be tough on him but ant' shit going to happen to him like he wants you to believe.

6079_Smith_W

How much evidence was there that a blinded child who was shot in the back was guilty of murder, and deserved 48 years in prison? 

I am not saying that Assange is not manipulating this situation. I am simply saying that if a powerful nation wants something to happen, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it can have its way. 

Just part of the reason why this is a highly conflicted situation. Really, I blame the U.S. more than Assange in this case for fucking up what should have been a fairly straightforward case. Then thereis this question: would a sexual assault case like this have ever become an international incident without outside interests? 

The main thing in my mind is to not forget that there is a real complaint here, beyond the politics.

 

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

That's nonsense. He could be whisked away and placed in solitary confinement  far from the eyes of any reporters. The USA has prisons all over the world they can use, including their own military prisons. All anyone in authority has to say is "that's classified information relating to a terrorist suspect or national security threat" and that'd be the end of it.

I disagree... think what you want to think, but he can't be whisked away to anywhere but a federal jail like anybody else being held on federal charges. Being a civilian he would be in the federal civil court system of the USA and not the military system.

You seem to forget about the media circus that's going to (would) cover this.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 @ 6079...

Exactly... if the USA wanted him why didn't they get him when the Brit's had him? Why wait for him to go to Sweden? Britain is as good an ally as it gets for the USA and they could have gotten him then if they REALLY wanted him. But they didn't because you know why; because they can't...

Nobody seems to want to address that issue here...

 

contrarianna

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

EDIT: I agree with that Boom Boom. some of the answer is below...

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I don't know. If he thinks he might be tortured or executed for espionage I don't think anything written in any presumed rule book is necessarily relevant.

 

Yeah, he wants everyone to believe that...

But really everybody stop for a second and think about it; if it ever happened, his arrival, pre trial detainment and trial in the USA would be so fucking covered by the media the feds would be scared to death if anything happened to him. There's no fucking way they would torture him like he wants everyone to believe....

Get real.  Tell it  to private Manning (whose whistleblowing you also had antipathy for). In Manning's case, international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and the Red Cross detailed the violations against him. Even so, Manning is an American citizen not a foreigner slated for "enemy combatant" status, indefinete solitary confinement, torture and/or the show trial tribunal treatment.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 

Can't really compare the two: Manning is a solder in a military prison run by the US Marine Corps. He is not in a civilian facility. There is a big difference and Assange's satus with the world media will help him more than Manning's would.

 We're talking about something that's not going to happen by the way.

6079_Smith_W

@ Bec

Regarding extradition from Britain - yes, I do wonder about that. But as I said, I also wonder why a case of alleged sexual assault, ordinarily something consigned to the backburner, and more often left unproven, is in this case an international incident. 

I could also just as easily ask why Swedish prosecutors can't come to Britain and make their enquiries, since this is really a matter of a subpoena for information, and not a charge at all. 

 

contrarianna

You can be sure that the now sealed indictment will be full of the most proper sounding legal niceties one can imagine.
Once he is on US soil there is NOTHING to prevent the government from reclassing him as a "foreign enemy combatant" (as government officials have suggested).
Obviously the risk of having a public trial in the normal legal system is fraught with too many uncertainties for it to ever happen.
Reporting on the many US "dark" prisons including Gitmo is next to impossible, and, in truth, most US media is happy with that. 

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Bec

But as I said, I also wonder why a case of alleged sexual assault, ordinarily something consigned to the backburner, and more often left unproven, is in this case an international incident.

I'd say the simple answer is becouse Assange is an international media star of sorts. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I could also just as easily ask why Swedish prosecutors can't come to Britain and make their enquiries, since this is really a matter of a subpoena for information, and not a charge at all. 

This is speculation on my part (Gee we're doing allot of that here aren't we?) but I bet they want to charge him and somehow he knows it.

Or it could just be a battle of egos... who really knows.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

 

Can't really compare the two: Manning is a solder in a military prison run by the US Marine Corps. He is not in a civilian facility. There is a big difference and Assange's satus with the world media will help him more than Manning's would.

 We're talking about something that's not going to happen by the way.

At the risk of being suspended or banned I'll say it: you're full of shit.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 Any ideas why he wasn't extradited for Britain when they had the chance?
(two of your above links don't work by the way)

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

 

Can't really compare the two: Manning is a solder in a military prison run by the US Marine Corps. He is not in a civilian facility. There is a big difference and Assange's satus with the world media will help him more than Manning's would.

 We're talking about something that's not going to happen by the way.

At the risk of being suspended or banned I'll say it: you're full of shit.

 

No you're misinformed...

 

(I wouldn't sweat that, you're a leftist.Wink)

contrarianna

It ought to be clear to anyone that that Assange is not evading the alleged sex crimes but the highly likely extradition from Sweden to some US hell-hole, as Glenn Greenwald points out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/20/julian-assange-right...

The notion that Assange would take the drastic and risk-fraught step of seeking political asylum in Ecuador to simply to evade questioning by the Swedish prosecutor after extradition (and possible charges eventually being laid) is improbable.

The previously posted chronology

http://www.nnn.se/nordic/assange/sequence.htm

accurately follows the news reports at the time, and it strains belief to imagine this is not politically motivated maneuver by the Carl Rove-counseled Swedish government:

Quote:
....
21 August – 27 September 2010
Since first learning of the accusations against him from news media, Assange has voluntarily remained in Sweden and made himself available to the police and prosecutor. Through his attorney, he has made repeated attempts to be interviewed by prosecutor Ny or her agents, but she has rejected all proposals. Finally, after five weeks and having secured Ms. Ny’s consent, Assange departs for Germany and then England. On the same day, Ms. Ny issues a secret warrant for Assange’s arrest.

October 2010
Assange continues to make himself available for an interview by prosecutor Ny, offering to return to Sweden for that purpose or to be interviewed in England, in person or via video link or other telecommunications. All such proposals are rejected by Ms. Ny.
       Threats from leading figures in the United States against Assange’s life and freedom escalate in response to the continuing disclosures of WikiLeaks....

Further, in the unlikely event of Assange actually being charged and then found guilty Sweden of his alleged crimes, the sentence would not likely be very onerous:

Quote:
The percentage of the population in prison is significantly lower than in most other countries. Out of 100,000 inhabitants, 79 lived in prison facilities in 2001, which is a bit higher than other Scandinavian countries....

Some of these numbers may be due to variations in prison types, for instance Sweden makes frequent use of electronic fetters, allowing the prisoner to live at home (but under constant surveillance, including a no-alcohol policy.)

The Swedish prison system is not generally severe. The emphasis is on humanitarian treatment of prisoners and rehabilitation in favor of deterrence. Sentences are generally short and prisoners enjoy a high material standard...

Indeed, there is a good case for more severe sentencing in many instances:

Quote:
Five year sentence for Swede's child sex crimes

Published: 27 Dec 11
45-year-old Swede Patrick Johnsson who had more than half a million images of child pornography, including some featuring infants, has been jailed for five years for child pornography crimes and child rape....

http://www.thelocal.se/38180/20111227/

In contrast, with the details of the Assange's alleged sex crimes, even as described by the  prosecutor, the chance of Assange serving any jail-time, if charged and found guilty in Sweden, would not be very likely.

However, there would be no internationally recognized process for his torment in the current US show-trial tribunal system --or its now legalized indefinite detention without charges.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

I mean come on folks, I know most of you here hate the USA and all that (and that's fine) but we're talking about a privileged white male here... Yeah, jail would be tough on him but ant' shit going to happen to him like he wants you to believe.

Tell that to Bradley Manning.  Solitary confinement is cruel and should be unusual punishment but it is merely the norm in the US prison system, especially the new privatized prisons. Here's what due process in the USA has been reduced to in this new millennium. Two years in solitary and they wouldn't even give his defence team documents.Like hell he's got nothing to fear from the US "justice" system.

I think Assange should go to Sweden to stand trial if the Swedish government gives him assurances in writing that they will not extradite or otherwise render him to into US custody.

Quote:

Wednesday, June 6: The first day of the hearing focused on the government’s failure to produce evidence the defense has been requesting since the case’s inception. In the morning, the judge ruled in favor of a defense motion, stating that the government must provide the defense access to a Defense Intelligence Agency WikiLeaks damage assessment.  The defense also complained of the heavy redacting in the documents they’ve been given access to, showing a huge file with most of the pages entirely blacked out, making context of evidence impossible to understand.  Later, the defense provided detailed information about the efforts they’d taken to obtain evidence and the delays and other obstacles they’d faced.  We learned that 28 of the 63 requested agencies have turned in damage assessments within the past two months, with most providing one or two pages alleging no damage.

Thursday, June 7: Three State Department officials testified regarding that department’s damage assessment and general response to WikiLeaks’ releases. The third witness refused to give the name of the State Department official who has kept records on the impact of WikiLeaks since 2011.  However, we learned of several different possible documents containing evidence of WikiLeaks’ impact on our national security or lack thereof, which the defense formally requested access to but has been asking for as part of its discovery request for two years.

 

 

contrarianna

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:
 Any ideas why he wasn't extradited for Britain when they had the chance?

(two of your above links don't work by the way)

Thanks for the links tip, corrected I think.
I suspect Assange could more successfully fight UK extradition to the US given the probability of his likely fate there.
It would also more politically embarrassing given commonwealth connection.
In Sweden despite any formal promise it gets from the US regarding treatment of Assange, Sweden has previously got promises re: no torture extradition that have been subsequently ignored.
. The present Swedish government is even more tractable to right-wing US influence than the UK. (eg Carl Rove as adviser) .

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 

I would be totally good with Assange not coming to the USA...

Merowe

I agree with kropotkin's point: if Sweden can issue watertight assurances he will not be extradited to the US, then by all means return to Sweden to watch the non-case against him evaporate. I would have liked that to happen if only to clear his name but the risks, of course, are far too great in the absence of such assurances.

I believe the reason he'd be easier to extradite from Sweden is because a similar effort in England would run into a serious media-fed clusterfuck, a bit like the business with Pinochet. Sweden is only about 4 million people: the pop of the British isles considerably greater. A great part of the British population would piss themselves at the thought of a member of the commonwealth being handed over to the evil yankee. There would be demonstrations and stunts and the whole business would just be a lot of bother and unwelcome publicity. In an election year. 

I think that's the only reason he hasn't already disappeared. He's a celebrity and the thing wants a little finessing.

I also agree with Boom Boom that poor old Bec seems to be back on the crack.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I don't know whether he will convicted or not on the serious charges he will face in Sweden. That is what trials are for.  The reports of what he is alleged to have done certainly seem to fit with Sweden's definitions of sexual assault but they have yet to be tested in a due process setting.

NDPP

Sweden, UK, Dragging Feet While US Drums Up Case Against Me - Assange (and vid)

http://www.rt.com/news/assange-us-building-case-453/

'Whistleblower Julian Assange has accused the UK and Sweden of conspiring to trap him in England while US authorities make a legal case against him. He said the Australian government has abandoned him by refusing to intervene in this extradition. In a live interview from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio he stressed that Washington is hatching a plot to bring him to US..."

contrarianna

Assange's minimal request to his Australian government to elicit a guarantee he will not be extradited to the US (likely ending up in the now legalized indefinite detention and/or kangaroo tribunal system) is essentially denied:

Quote:

The Sidney Morning Herald

Assange seeking US legal guarantee
Philip Dorling
June 25, 2012

JULIAN Assange hopes his bid for political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London will elicit diplomatic guarantees that he will not be prosecuted by the United States on espionage and conspiracy charges.

However, Foreign Minister Bob Carr yesterday renewed the Australian government's strong criticism of WikiLeaks and indicated support for Mr Assange will remain limited to routine consular assistance in the absence of confirmation of US extradition moves....

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/assange-seeking-us-legal-guarantee-20120624-20wfi.html

Assange's lawyer, human rights figure, Michael Ratner, talked to Amy Goodman at Democracy Now about, among other things, why extradition to the US, is being pursued through Sweden rather than the UK. (transcript).

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/20/julian_assange_of_wikileaks_seeks_asylum

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

contrarianna wrote:

Assange's lawyer, human rights figure, Michael Ratner, talked to Amy Goodman at Democracy Now about, among other things, why extradition to the US, is being pursued through Sweden rather than the UK. (transcript).

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/20/julian_assange_of_wikileaks_seeks_asylum

I watched the interview and found it very informative.  Clearly Assange fears being extradited to the US.  Given it is on record as wanting to prosecute him I think he has a right to be paranoid. Only a fool would ignore the fact that US leader's are calling for your head.

I don't know the Swedish system well but his lawyer seemed to be saying that with good lawyers extradition to the US would be a multi-year battle and Assange would be out on bail.  In Sweden he would not get bail for the investigation into the sexual assault allegations and if an indictment was filed by the US he would already be in custody. He believes that the Swedish system would go far quicker and with less openness than the UK courts.  His lawyer kept claiming that would never see the light of day from a prison cell in Sweden until he boarded a plane for rendition to the US "justice" system.

Quote:

MICHAEL RATNER: Right. It would have—for the U.S. to move within Britain, of course, it would have complicated matters a great deal, because then he’s facing a Swedish—a Swedish prosecution, and then the U.S. comes in. So what happens to the U.S.—to the U.S. indictment? And then, of course, Julian Assange gets notice that he’s been indicted in the United States, and of course it makes his situation more precarious. And in addition, he would have probably been able to remain on the streets in London, whereas the U.S., really, I think, probably understood that as soon as he gets into Sweden, he’s in prison, he may—those charges may not amount—not charges, those allegations may not amount to anything once he testifies, once he gives evidence, and then they can keep him in prison with this warrant.

And I also think that, if you look at the situation, Sweden versus the U.K., the U.K. can take years to get someone extradited. I mean, we know of the case—I forgot his name, but the young man who supposedly hacked into the Pentagon computer to find out about UFOs—seven, eight years on his extradition. Incredible extradition lawyers in London. It’s a big country. Sweden, whatever we think of Sweden, its justice system certainly seems to have some problems, because Julian Assange would be in jail without bail. And also, it’s a smaller country and just can be knocked around more by the United States.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

anyone been watching Assange's show on RT? Today he had Tariq Ali and Noam Chomsky on with him.

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