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WikiLeaks' Assange in Ecuador embassy London: Seeks political asylum

NDPP
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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..."


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Catchfire
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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
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He never knows when to Quit(o).


NDPP
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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..."


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


NDPP
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

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

 


Merowe
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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
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Joined: Dec 8 2004

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
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Thanks for posting, CF.


6079_Smith_W
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@ 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.

 


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

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


6079_Smith_W
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Normally yes, but then there's Roman Polanski and Josef Mengele (not to equate the two).

 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

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
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

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
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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
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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
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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.


Bec.De.Corbin
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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.


Boom Boom
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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.


6079_Smith_W
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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.

 


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