WikiLeaks' Assange in Ecuador embassy London: Seeks political asylum

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Fidel

collateral murder

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0][/url]

Julian Assange wrote:

I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch-hunts against Wikileaks. The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation.

“The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters. The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.

“There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organisation; be it Wikileaks, or be it the New York Times.

“The US administration’s war on whistleblowers must end.

“Thomas Drake, William Binney and John Kirakou and the other heroic whistleblowers must – they must – be pardoned or compensated for the hardships they have endured as servants of the public record.

“And to the Army Private who remains in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, who was found by the United Nations to have endured months of torturous detention in Quantico, Virginia and who has yet – after two years in prison – to see a trial: he must be released.

“Bradley Manning must be released.

"Pull it."

Jacob Two-Two

Did you read the article I linked to, Corbin? Do you agree that the only rational explanation for the multiple departures from normal procedure, and the law itself, is political manipulation of this process?

And it's clear you do care about Assange. The things I don't care about I don't post about.

Also, I apologise for the disablist language.

Michelle

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Thanks for posting, CF.

Yes, thank you, Catchfire.

I guess this means that Assange has carte blanche to commit any crime against women that he likes, and if anyone tries to prosecute him for it, he can claim that the charges are false and that they just want to persecute him for Wikileaks.  It's a pretty convenient defense, really.

Hey, and how about that George Galloway, huh?  Waking a woman up by having sex with her without consent and without a condom after having had consensual, protected sex the night before is "caddish" but not really "rape", right?  I mean, it's not like you have to get consent EVERY time, can he get an amen?

I hate that so many left-wing guys buy into this misogynist shit.

I do get that it's possible this was a set up.  I get it.  I also understand that the US would love to put him away forever for the stuff he leaked.  But I kind of figure that if you're an internationally-wanted person because you're leaking top secret information, you should probably consider not engaging in any sexual behaviour that pushes any boundaries around consent or could be set up to look that way, so that you can't get set up.  So it's hard for me to work up a whole lot of sympathy around this guy not wanting to face sexual assault charges.  And listening to his supporters like George Galloway spout off about how not getting consent before sex isn't really "rape" doesn't do much to convince me that the charges are groundless.

That said, I agree with someone upthread (sorry, forget who) who suggested that perhaps Sweden should consider giving a guarantee that he won't be extradited if he stands trial in Sweden.  Then there would be no excuse for Assange not to be returned.  Ah, but I'm betting he'd find one.

6079_Smith_W

Michelle wrote:

I do get that it's possible this was a set up.  I get it. 

I know there's an impulse to give the benefit of the doubt, but I don't buy it. Not a bit. In order for that to be the case those two women would have to be lying, and based on what I have read I seriously doubt that. Aside from the other things he is accused of. if he had simply complied with a fair request to get an STD test none of this would have happened.

That doesn't mean that I think Assange should wind up executed because of what he may have done. But really do we have to pretend that the real world is some vaudeville show where the Imperialists are Snidely Whiplash and everyone else is pure as the driven snow?

I'm not pointing the finger at you Michelle, because yes, we all want to be open to that benefit of the doubt. What I have a problem with is the inability of some to accept that sometimes people can do good work and still do horrible things, and to blame everything on "enemies" and not hold those who we think are alies accountable for their actions.

The flip side of this, of course, is that when people do things we disagree with that doesn't automatically make them pariahs either.

 

NDPP

Michelle wrote:

 

I agree with someone upthread (sorry, forget who) who suggested that perhaps Sweden should consider giving a guarantee that he won't be extradited if he stands trial in Sweden.  Then there would be no excuse for Assange not to be returned.  Ah, but I'm betting he'd find one.

The offer to return to Sweden for questioning in exchange for an undertaking not to extradite him to the US was already made by Assange. In addition an invitation was made to answer any questions by Swedish investigators in Britain. Sweden refused. See sequence of events.

Assange and Sweden

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

 

NDPP

Sweden: If Assange Faces Death Row in US We Won't Extradite Him

http://rt.com/news/sweden-us-assange-extradition-209/

"The Swedish government will not extradite Assange to the US should he face the death penalty there, as any possible extradition request from Washington is then subject to strict conditions, an official from the country's Justice Ministry declared,' [but] Sweden cannot guarantee in advance that Assange will not be extradited.."

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
contrarianna

The idea that Assange is fleeing sex allegations, not extradition to the US, requires a big dose of msm narcotics , or a lack of attention to the myriad details of the case and the multi-state involvement.

Either that, or an ideological belief that whatever happens to someone who is merely acussed (not charged ) of sex crimes against women deserves whatever he gets, even if it is it nothing to do with putative offense and could easily result in lifelong imprisonment in torture-level conditions.

I have read pretty extensively on the actual allegations (no charges yet) against Assange, and I am not sure that even under the unusually pro-active sex crime laws of Sweden, Assange would be found guilty (should he ever be charged). Even in the worst case scenario for Assange, in Sweden the pattern of sentencing usually involves electronic monitoring which would hardly match his risky and life-limiting request for asylum.

I would like to see the domestic criminal Swedish law play out it's hand with Assange--and should the state eventually feel the case strong enough to lay charges, have his day in court.
Without being a mindreader or particularly naive, I'd suggest, that for simply pragmatic reasons (apart from ethical) Assange would too.
That is born out by his long time repeated requests for interviews by Swedish investigators (which they requested, but rebuffed) and his request guarantees from Sweden (which they have granted in other cases) that he would not be extradited to a third country (which they have also rebuffed, now conclusively) should he submit to their custody.

But those who endorse Assanges asylum are asked by others to ignore the OVERWHEMING evidence that these allegations of sex crime (whether true are not) are being used as pretext to facilitate US extradition. Instead they are being smeared as complicit in crimes against women--shameful.

6079_Smith_W

contrarianna wrote:

But those who endorse Assanges asylum are asked by others to ignore the OVERWHEMING evidence that these allegations of sex crime (whether true are not) are being used as pretext to facilitate US extradition. Instead they are being smeared as complicit in crimes against women--shameful.

Not exactly. I think there are plenty of us who are able to grasp the fact the both are true.

It is only the hard-line zealots on both sides who are arguing in favour of willful blindness.

contrarianna

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Fotheringay-Phipps wrote:

No nation can ever have entirely clean hands, and Mr Assange is probably desperate, but Ecuador isn't exactly a fount of free information. The President, Rafael Correa, took the newspaper El Universo to court a few years back when they published critical comment, and managed to secure jail sentences and multi-million dollar fines against the editors. I remember at the time there was some concern that the newspaper might not survive. It appears to be thriving online at least, and the harsher penalties were remitted recently, but Correa remains an equivocal champion of free speech.

So Ecuador's Conrad Black got sent to jail. Too bad so sad....

Actually, almost immediately Correa pardoned those that the Supreme Court found guilty of libel, and also nullified the massive fine levied against them (not a pattern followed by many western politicians in their libel cases against journos).

However, the now widespread vilification of Ecuador, and by gleeful association, Assange is well dismantled by Glen Greenwald in his article today in the Guardian:

Quote:
Apparently, activists should only seek asylum from countries with pristine human rights records, whichever countries those might be: a newly concocted standard that was conspicuously missing during the saga of blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng at the US embassy; I don't recall any western media outlets accusing Guangcheng of hypocrisy for seeking refuge from a country that indefinitely imprisons people with no charges, attacked Iraq, assassinates its own citizens with no due process on the secret orders of the president, bombs funerals and rescuers in Pakistan, uses extreme force and mass arrests to try to obliterate the peaceful Occupy protest movement, wages an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, prosecutes its Muslim citizens for posting YouTube videos critical of US foreign policy, embraces and arms the world's most oppressive regimes, and imprisoned Muslim journalists for years at Guantánamo and elsewhere with no charges of any kind..../quote]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/21/human-rights-critics...

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

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Did you read the article I linked to, Corbin? Do you agree that the only rational explanation for the multiple departures from normal procedure, and the law itself, is political manipulation of this process?

And it's clear you do care about Assange. The things I don't care about I don't post about.

Also, I apologise for the disablist language.

Yes' I've read it, it's been posted on rabble before. I’m not dismissing it but I also think that is part of “his” side of the story. I also think he needs to answer up to the questions in Sweden, in Sweden. I believe they want him there because they want to be able to arrest and charge him if they don’t like his answers (he may already know this).

I really wish the USA would say they are not going to extradite Assange. Like I’ve posted here I really don’t think they have a strong case ageist him (some here seem to disagree with me for some strange reason) and like I’ve said I don’t want to see the circus on TV for the next three years.

I really wish he’s go to Equator and stay there (or go to Sweden).

I wasn’t offended by you remark to me no need to apologise… I’m pretty thick skinned and I pretty much laugh at this stuff.

 

 

kropotkin1951

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Seems a bit harsh to me. And frankly, I'd expect anyone who has ever refered to our govenrment as authoritarian or anti-democratic might be inclined to agree.

Criminal Code wrote:

Definition

  • 298. (1) A defamatory libel is matter published, without lawful justification or excuse, that is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or that is designed to insult the person of or concerning whom it is published.

  • Marginal note:Mode of expression

    (2) A defamatory libel may be expressed directly or by insinuation or irony

    • (a) in words legibly marked on any substance; or

    • (b) by any object signifying a defamatory libel otherwise than by words.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 262.

Marginal note:Publishing

299. A person publishes a libel when he

  • (a) exhibits it in public;

  • (b) causes it to be read or seen; or

  • (c) shows or delivers it, or causes it to be shown or delivered, with intent that it should be read or seen by the person whom it defames or by any other person.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 263.

Marginal note:Punishment of libel known to be false

300. Every one who publishes a defamatory libel that he knows is false is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 264.

Your objection is duly noted. With that strong a view on the subject I expect it is something you are working hard to get changed in Canada.

"And frankly, I'd expect anyone who has ever" is really a great way to engage in discourse.  In my face just a bit my friend?

6079_Smith_W

You can take it however you want, k.

I thought the ruling on Vanderzalm's lawsuit was a travesty. And that pales in comparison to this.

I think freedom of expression includes the freedom to call a politician a dictator without having to worry about the threat of being jailed or broken or shut down.

Perhaps you think differently; perhaps not. But I think it is a pretty basic principle.

 

kropotkin1951

Freedom of expression does not include the right to falsely accuse a politician of murder.  I don't believe that character assassination is a proper way to conduct any civic affairs.  You and the Koch brothers seem to share the same views on the media, I don't believe that might and money are the only things that should define democratic. 

I'll bet if you ran for office and your opponent put out pamphlets calling you a pedophile and falsely saying you had met with a 11 year old boy it would bother you just a bit and you might even think a retraction was in order.  Go ahead prove you have never met with an 11 year old boy to seduce him. Unless of course you believe that since you are innocent the truth will come out and voters will just ignore the claim and believe you. I'd rather not that be the level of discourse in my ideal political system.

 

6079_Smith_W

I think we need to be careful about putting constraints on what people can and cannot say about the government of the day. There is a reason why politicians, for one, enjoy a degree of immunity in the House.

Does the level of discourse concern me? Sure. I am sure you are familiar with Lyndon Johnson's advice about campaign lies, just as I am.

But what concerns me more is the prospect of people being forced or imtimidated into remaining silent by the threat of jail, being shut down, financial ruin, or in some cases, death.

 

Jacob Two-Two

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

Yes' I've read it, it's been posted on rabble before. I’m not dismissing it but I also think that is part of “his” side of the story.

This makes no sense whatsoever. Nothing in the article relies on Assange's version of events or even mentions them. It is an examination of the facts of how these proceedings against him have been undertaken based on Naomi Wolf's own research and how they compare with her personal experiences over decades of reporting on sex crimes and working in rape crisis centers. His side of the story is not part of the article. She simply notes that throughout her considerable experience in these matters, she has never before seen these repeated abberations in the pursuance of a conviction, and in fact, several of the abberations actually make a conviction significantly less likely, being outright illegal. The only rational conclusion is the one she comes to: that none of this is being done to lay charges or to gain a conviction. It is a mere smokescreen to create a means by which Assange's political enemies can lay their hands on him.

Quote:
I also think he needs to answer up to the questions in Sweden, in Sweden. I believe they want him there because they want to be able to arrest and charge him if they don’t like his answers (he may already know this).

This also makes entirely no sense. He does not have to be in Sweden for them to ask him questions. He has offered several times to be interviewed and has been repeatedly turned down, and yet they persist in saying they want him for questioning. Questioning they refuse to undertake. That this doesn't strike you as suspicious makes me seriously doubt your capacity for critical thinking. He also doesn't need to be in Sweden for them to lay charges against him if they don't like his answers, and it is obvious that laying actual charges (charges that were already dismissed once, you might recall) would give much-needed credibility to their demands to take him into custody. If they believed that questioning him would lead to credible charges they would do it, as it would help their cause immensely, and yet they refuse. The rational conclusion is that they know that questioning won't lead to charges and have no intention of questioning him at all.  

Quote:
I really wish the USA would say they are not going to extradite Assange. Like I’ve posted here I really don’t think they have a strong case ageist him (some here seem to disagree with me for some strange reason) and like I’ve said I don’t want to see the circus on TV for the next three years.

And yet for some reason the fact that both the USA and Sweden will not promise not to extradite him doesn't give you any pause for thought whatsoever. Why wouldn't they promise this? Again, there's only one rational explanation. That's exactly what they intend to do.

The fact that you know all these things and yet can't put any of the pieces together is nothing short of bizarre.

 

Jacob Two-Two

I challenge anyone to read these two articles together and compare them:

http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2012/06/20/comment-assange-has-betrayed-wikileaks-and-its-principles

http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/

The first is loaded with emotional rhetoric and nearly no factual content. Ian Dunt casually refers to Assange's contention that there is a conspiracy against him as "disinformation", but makes no attempt whatsoever to demonstrate how this is so. It is merely assumed. He graciously allows that it is up to a trial to determine Assange's guilt or innocence, but sternly admonishes that "he has questions to answer". And who could disagree? But he ignores completely the fact that Assange has made himself available for questioning many times, and yet the authorities have refused to do so. Who's spreading the misinformation here?

He tells us that "Assange's dismissal of these charges, and that of his overly-eager supporters, is simply abysmal" and yet makes no effort whatsoever to address the reasons why many have dismissed the validity of the charges. Judging by this article, one would assume that no such reasons exist when in fact they are plentiful. Even if those reasons are flawed, responsible journalism would entail picking them apart point by point, but he merely dismisses them in much the same manner that he accuses Assange of doing. He then goes on to draw an illegitimate equivalency to Chris Brown and Mike Tyson, two abusers who have been found definitively guilty of crimes against women in a court of law, which Assange has not. This is no more than a smear tactic.

For good measure he assures us that "Assange's argument is absurd from top to bottom" after having done nothing to show us why this is the case. Then in his most nonsensical turn of logic, he laments the terrible treatment of poor Bradley Manning, somehow oblivious to the fact that this is the very fate that Assange is trying to avoid. Instead he criticises Assange for not showing the same "commitment", as if Manning voluntarily surrendered himself to this abuse and hence anyone who was a true warrior of transparency would do the same. Chiding Assange for not meekly delivering himself to be tortured is truely "absurd from top to bottom".  This is an opinion piece of the worst sort. The kind that tells us something is really bad over and over but never once tries to prove it.

Naomi Wolf's article, on the other hand, is loaded with information that builds logically to a conclusion. She informs us that Karl Rove has been advising the Swedish government in this matter (which ought to give some perspective to Ian Dunt's assertion that extradition from Sweden could not possibly be easier than it would be from the UK) and also informs us that "The Assange accusers’ lawyer is a partner in the law firm Borgström and Bodström, whose other name partner, Thomas Bodström, is a former Swedish Minister of Justice. In that office, Bodström helped approve a 2001 CIA rendition request to Sweden, to allow the CIA to fly two asylum-seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured." which gives us a fair idea of the kind of people who are pulling the strings in this whole matter.

She then outlines eight significant ways that the pursuance of these actions against Assange deviate from every other sexual assault case she has ever seen in her long experience supporting rape victims, ranging from unprecedented to outright illegal, and also notes how a number of the deviations actually weaken the case against Assange, making a conviction less likely, as improper procedure in criminal cases is wont to do. In other words, no prosecutor who is actually trying to get a conviction would do these things.

She also asserts that Assange did in fact take an HIV test, which came back negative (despite the fact that I keep hearing people criticise him for refusing it) and that tweets from the woman who says she was assaulted while sleeping prove that she was awake, and were later deleted. I really wish she had provided more context here, because these points are fairly important, but I rather doubt she's making the whole thing up, though she could be mistaken. Hopefully more information on this will unfold over time.

I find it strange to hear people say that the women couldn't possibly be lying. That allegations may be false is ALWAYS a possibility, which is exactly why "innocent until proven guilty" is a fundamental tenant of our legal system. In most cases of sexual assault the possibility is slim, since there aren't many women who would subject themselves to the hell of court proceedings for no good reason, but I think the possibility is rather broader in this case than it would normally be. We all know that there are powerful forces out to get Assange, people of staggering wealth, connections and resources. Who knows what threats, bribes, or intimidations might have been made towards these women? They could be in fear of their very lives if they don't play ball. Remember "In The Name of the Father", where Daniel Day-Lewis's character is coerced into signing a confession to a bombing he didn't commit after threats on his father's life are made by the police who needed a scapegoat? Dramatic as it may sound, such things do happen in the real world. Powerful people do awful things to ensure the results that they want, and they do so knowing that they are free from consequences even if their machinations are exposed. History is littered with unpunished atrocities perpetrated by the very same class of people that are now desperately trying to lay their hands on Julian Assange.

I'm speculating wildly, of course, but my point is that the forces involved here are considerably scarier and more insidious than one will find in your average sexual assault case, and this has to be kept in mind when evaluating it. Obviously, he could be guilty, and if he is, then he should go to jail. I don't care if he saved the earth from Galactus, a rapist is a rapist and belongs behind bars and if the allegations are true than he is most definitely a rapist. But it seems clear to me from the egregious way this process has been manipulated that a fair trial is not in the cards for Assange, and never will be until the political motive for having him in custody has been taken completely off the table. Once his protection from the shockingly illegal rendition that Bradley Manning is currently suffering (for basically the same actions) has been thoroughly assured, then we can get on with trying this man for the crimes he is accused of. Until that time, it would be nothing less than insane for him to give himself up. He would almost certainly never see a courtroom. He might never see anyone ever again.

6079_Smith_W

@ Jacob Two Two

First, there are no actual charges, as the first article claims.

Secondly, why is it so hard to grasp that the initial accusations of assault likely have no connection whatsoever with any U.S. attempt to extradite Assange? As such, all these attempts to undermine, or call into question the complainants'' stories, are completely irrelevant.

Wolf's article is good (though no slight to her expertise, but I think it would have been better with some Swedish sources) but it still deals with irregularities at the investigative level, which I think we all accept as probable.

It doesn't attack the credibility of the complainants, or get into musings of what constitutes sexual assault, something which seems to be the only option for some people who can't see the world in anything other than black and white.

 

Jacob Two-Two

Okay, I went a bit overboard there. I never meant to minimise the allegations against Assange, though it kinda came out that way. I was feeling a bit defensive because I'm getting sick of reading stuff like that first article that claims that Assange's refusal to give himself up, and the support of those like me who don't think that he should, is perpetuating rape culture in our society. I feel it should be obvious that this is not your standard sexual assault case, which makes it a very tricky business. To further complicate matters, cases like this are rarely prosecuted to the extent they should be, so that Assange could easily be both a victim of political elites who twist the law for their own nefarious purposes, and just another rapist who goes unpunished for his crimes.

I'd like to know more about why the charges were initially dismissed. It could be because the case is legitimately weak, or it could be because courts rarely if ever trouble themselves with rape allegations when prior consent has been given, which is reprehensible. There's just so much going on here that I'm trying not to make too many assumptions. I am trying to reserve judgement on Assange and the allegations against him, but I still maintain that there is good reason to oppose his being turned over to authorities at this time and under these circumstances, as a separate matter from his guilt or innocence, which I would hope will be thoroughly investigated when his safety from irregular rendition can be assured. Sadly, that might be a vain hope in this culture.

NDPP

You're probably one of the few actually availing yourself of the many articles posted here on the Assange/WikiLeaks saga. Naomi Wolf's raised the important contradictions in this obvious hatchet-job of Assange/WikiLeaks along with others some time ago. Despite any of this, most here appear to slavishly adhere to the current MSM offensive, almost never going near a thread until they have been saturation-bombed  with the latest 'news'.  Here's more

Julian Assange's Deal with the Devil

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/01/05/julian-assange-s-deal-with-the-de...

"...For me a Guardian reader since I worked at the BBC in the mid-1970s, it is painful to say that the Guardian has become an imposter. This paper pretends to provide the thinking liberal and socialist people of England with true information; but at the moment of truth, the Guardian like a good Blairite, will switch sides...

 the Guardian apparently decided to destroy Wikileaks after using it. The Moor did his job, the Moor may go. The Guardian's embedded editors, understanding full well that the Wikileaks crew won't be tamed or subverted, are preparing a book called The Rise and Fall of Wikileaks. It's not quite released yet; they still have to arrange for the fall. This will be done in two ways.

First, by slandering the Wikileaks chief Julian Assange. Destroy the head and the body will wither and die. There is no doubt Assange never raped. The day after the alleged rape, the alleged victim boasted to her friends in a twitter that she had a wonderful time with the alleged rapist. It was all published...

Moreover, if Swedish authorities are privately concerned about prosecuting Julian for rape, why do they attach a special condition to their demands for extradition, specifically reserving the right to pass him on to US authorities..."

NDPP

'US Not Our Daddy to Punish Us' - Ecuador FM (and vid)

http://rt.com/news/assange-ecuador-foreign-minister-interview-312/

"Ecuador does not fear US revenge for granting asylum to Julian Assange..."

6079_Smith_W

NDPP wrote:

From your posted article:

There is no doubt Assange never raped. The day after the alleged rape, the alleged victim boasted to her friends in a twitter that she had a wonderful time with the alleged rapist. It was all published...

That's quite the outrageous statement, NDPP.

Remind me again why it is necessary to prove Assange did nothing wrong (and to resort to undermining the character of a sexual assault complainant) in order to establish that the U.S. is out to get him.

Nice word, "boast". Not loaded at all.

Without picking apart this case, have you never heard of people not recognizing they were being abused, or that a crime may have been committed against them?

And as for who is the devil in all this, why is the author blaming the Guardian when the person who actually holds all the cards, and seems to be treating leaked information like it his own property and bargaining chip is Julian Assange. He could have released that material to the public with no strings attached, but instead he made that deal with the British and German media, and then got sore when he realized he wasn't going to have editorial control.

The author is complaining about some information not getting out? Who's fault is that? Geez, maybe it is all in that pile of cables Assange is threatening to release if he goes down.

But then, since I am just slavishly adhering to the MSM offensive there's no need to pay attention to anything I say, is there?

NDPP

Pilger: The Pursuit of Julian Assange is an Assault on Freedom and a Mockery of Journalism

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101639649

"....Four years ago, a barely noticed Pentagon document, leaked by Wikileaks, described how Wikileaks and Assange would be 'destroyed' with a smear campaign leading to 'criminal prosecution.'

Fidel

NDPP wrote:

Pilger: The Pursuit of Julian Assange is an Assault on Freedom and a Mockery of Journalism

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101639649

His tormentors make the point of Assange's persecution. Charged with no crime, he is not a fugitive from justice. Swedish case documents, including the text messages of the women involved, demonstrate to any fair-minded person the absurdity of the sex allegations - allegations almost entirely promptly dismissed by the senior prosecutor in Stockholm, Eva Finne, before the intervention of a politician, Claes Borgstr?At the pre-trial of Bradley Manning, a US army investigator confirmed that the FBI was secretly targeting the "founders, owners or managers of WikiLeaks" for espionage.

"....Four years ago, a barely noticed Pentagon document, leaked by Wikileaks, described how Wikileaks and Assange would be 'destroyed' with a smear campaign leading to 'criminal prosecution.'

The war on democracy continues.

Kara

6079_Smith_W wrote:

NDPP wrote:

From your posted article:

There is no doubt Assange never raped. The day after the alleged rape, the alleged victim boasted to her friends in a twitter that she had a wonderful time with the alleged rapist. It was all published...

That's quite the outrageous statement, NDPP.

Remind me again why it is necessary to prove Assange did nothing wrong (and to resort to undermining the character of a sexual assault complainant) in order to establish that the U.S. is out to get him.

Nice word, "boast". Not loaded at all.

Without picking apart this case, have you never heard of people not recognizing they were being abused, or that a crime may have been committed against them?

The portion of the article posted by NDPP that you quoted is disgusting - good for you for calling him / her out on it.  Filth which perpetuates rape culture should not be posted here without an appropriate condemnation.  Do we know if Assange is guilty of rape?  No.  However, denigrating the alleged victim is repulsive.  Some people here are so interested in pursuing their anti-US / anti-MSM / anti-imperialist agenda (which I agree with for the most part) that they ignore the anti-women / pro-rape culture message they are putting forth.  It's extremely offensive, really not much less so than Galloway's despicable comments.

FWIW, I do think Assange should definitely have to answer the charges but I do think the onus is on the Swedish government to give assurances that he will not be extradited to the US to face a bogus trial or an indefinite unlawful detention.

Fidel

Kara wrote:
FWIW, I do think Assange should definitely have to answer the charges but I do think the onus is on the Swedish government to give assurances that he will not be extradited to the US to face a bogus trial or an indefinite unlawful detention.

Julian Assange has not been charged with rape by police services in any country. 

Noam Chomsky wrote:
The apparent conflict can be easily resolved. Sweden claims only that they want to interrogate Assange. They have been invited to do that in England, or in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. They refuse. They could also issue a statement that they will not extradite Assange to the United States. They refuse.

Blame the Swedes, Brits and U.S. for refusing to issue assurances that justice will be done.

onlinediscountanvils

If nothing else, this case has put the lie to the argument that sufficient progress has been made as to render feminism unnecessary, and has shown women which big, important men on the left should not be seen as allies.

Fidel

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

If nothing else, this case has put the lie to the argument that sufficient progress has been made as to render feminism unnecessary, and has shown women which big, important men on the left should not be seen as allies.

He is a lawyer and former ombudsman for equality with Sweden's previous social democratic government(now in opposition) who is representing the two women accusing Assange. Canada's equivalents to Swedish Social Democrats are the NDP, also on the left.

The people botching this case are on the political right in Sweden, Britain and the USA. They don't care whether Assange is charged with rape or not - they want him extradited to the States where Assange would be arraigned on bogus charges of espionage aka whistleblowing on successive corrupt and criminal U.S. Governments and U.S. Military. Democracy in general is the right's most hated institution.

ETA: A penny for your thoughts to the babbler who can name Canada's federal ombudsman for equality.

Lord Palmerston

Out of curiosity how many people seriously believe that if Assange goes off to Sweden the US authorities will immediately nab him the minute he walks off the plane and take him to the US? 

6079_Smith_W

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Out of curiosity how many people seriously believe that if Assange goes off to Sweden the US authorities will immediately nab him the minute he walks off the plane and take him to the US? 

That would ruin the sense of theatre. But my guess is that all the paperwork is in place.

 

Fidel

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Out of curiosity how many people seriously believe that if Assange goes off to Sweden the US authorities will immediately nab him the minute he walks off the plane and take him to the US? 

Lo', two people who would believe such a thing.

Are there no secret torture gulags in Eastern Europe? Are there no U.S. military prisons in Cuba?

Lord Palmerston

That is deplorable and that's why Assange's extradition to the US must be opposed.  

Fidel

It really is deplorable.

The British Siege of the Ecuadorian Embassy: Déjà Vu: Anglo-American disregard for International Law

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya wrote:
The world is divided into two: those that are part of a system of empire and those that are not. The warning that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats has issued to the government of Ecuador that it will assault Quito’s diplomatic mission in London if Assange is not turned over to the British government is in total disregard for international law and signifies a feeling of impunity felt within the system of empire that includes the UK. Cameron’s government is making threats to ignore and breach international law at the behest of Washington, DC. The Ecuadorian government, with the support of all Latin America, has responded by telling Britain that it is not a “British colony.” Quito should have re-worded its comments and said it is not an “American colony or dependency like the UK.

And Noam Chomsky says that any decent country would offer sanctuary to Assange. Ecuador is a decent country to the rescue.

Jacob Two-Two

I do not believe that the allegations against Assange should be dismissed out of hand and am likewise appalled at the number of people who seem to think that the fact that Assange is legitimately the target of a conspiracy is sufficient evidence to declare him innocent of sexual assault. But this has to be seen as a very separate issue from the current actions of Sweden and the UK. The allegations are a pretext. If Assange is taken, there will be no questioning, there will be no trial. There will just be men grabbing him and throwing him into a small cell and subjecting him to low grade torture, while the two women and their accusations disappear from the media narrative, their purpose having been served.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/women-against-rape-julian-assange

 

"In over 30 years working with thousands of rape victims who are seeking asylum from rape and other forms of torture, we have met nothing but obstruction from British governments. Time after time, they have accused women of lying and deported them with no concern for their safety."

Unionist

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Out of curiosity how many people seriously believe that if Assange goes off to Sweden the US authorities will immediately nab him the minute he walks off the plane and take him to the US? 

That's an odd question, LP.

But I'll counter with another:

If Julian Assange presents himself at a Canadian embassy - or at a border point - and requests asylum citing fear of political persecution, should we grant it?

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

That's an odd question, LP.

But I'll counter with another:

If Julian Assange presents himself at a Canadian embassy - or at a border point - and requests asylum citing fear of political persecution, should we grant it?

 

No, and you know why?

Because our PM has already signed an agreement allowing FBI, the U.S. Military and other law enforcement to cross our border without permission and take him. This is not a safe place.

As for nabbing him on the tarmac. If they were going to do that then why bother even flying to Sweden? Just make up some story about the pilot having to fly to the states for some Krispy Kreme donuts.

Unionist

My question was whether we would favour the granting of asylum - not whether or how we could guarantee his personal security. Should Canada grant him asylum if requested?

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

My question was whether we would favour the granting of asylum - not whether or how we could guarantee his personal security. Should Canada grant him asylum if requested?

 

At this point, absolutely.

I might think differently if Sweden had actually done their homework and had a criminal charge to lay against him. There really is no reason why they can't come to the Ecuadorean embassy to interview him - something they have done before in other cases. And obviously he is not a flight risk.

And the fact that they will not guarantee to not send him on to the U.S. is another questionable roadblock.

The whole situation casts serious doubt on their interest  in resolving this sexual assault case.

 

Kara

Fidel wrote:

Kara wrote:
FWIW, I do think Assange should definitely have to answer the charges but I do think the onus is on the Swedish government to give assurances that he will not be extradited to the US to face a bogus trial or an indefinite unlawful detention.

Julian Assange has not been charged with rape by police services in any country. 

Allegations - I used the wrong word.  Big f'ing deal, doesn't change the fact that you and others are so blinded by your agenda you automatically assume the alleged victim in this case is either lying or being used as a dupe.  You are more than willing to give Assange the benefit of the doubt but not willing to give her any benefit of the doubt whatsoever.  You do not know whether the allegations against him are true or false and neither does the author of that disgusting article which brought about my comment.

Fidel wrote:

Noam Chomsky wrote:
The apparent conflict can be easily resolved. Sweden claims only that they want to interrogate Assange. They have been invited to do that in England, or in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. They refuse. They could also issue a statement that they will not extradite Assange to the United States. They refuse.

Blame the Swedes, Brits and U.S. for refusing to issue assurances that justice will be done.

I guess you don't read what you quote because I said more or less the same thing, except that the onus is clearly on Sweden to issue those assurances since they are the party seeking to take custody of Assange.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
If Julian Assange presents himself at a Canadian embassy - or at a border point - and requests asylum citing fear of political persecution, should we grant it? 

Who is this 'we' that you're referring to that is in a position to decide anything?

NDPP

nor does this right-wing satellite and sinkhole qualify in any way for Chomsky's 'decent country'

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Unionist wrote:
If Julian Assange presents himself at a Canadian embassy - or at a border point - and requests asylum citing fear of political persecution, should we grant it? 

Who is this 'we' that you're referring to that is in a position to decide anything?

The Canadian people. As for being "in a position to decide anything", that's up to us, isn't it?

I'm not that interested in playing with words. I was really just wondering what we progressive babbler types think about Assange's right to refugee status under international law, if and when he were to apply for same in Canada.

Lord Palmerston

I think "the Canadian people" should support both Assange being tried in Sweden on the rape charges and seek a guarantee from the Swedish govt. that he won't be extradited to the US.

In this debate, many seem incapable of being able of walking and chewing gum at the same time.  I think one can oppose extradition to Sweden and attacks on Ecaudor's sovereignty while at the same recognize that being "public enemy #1" to imperialism doesn't preclude one from being a rapist.  

contrarianna

I don't think SJ was being cute, Unionist. It is a point of confusion when saying "Canadian Embassy" and "we" in the same sentence. (You clarified this by saying that you meant Babblers, if they were in a position to do so). 

It is a similar confusion that was exploited by Gary Dewar when he equated "Canadians" with a more empowered Harper foreign policy agenda on the Security Council; lamenting that ihe wasn't used by Harper to lobby for that.

On polarized Babble, you would have two different answers based along ideological lines; you have two sides saying (or implying) the other side are faux progressives, or worse.

One side frames the issue as justice for women  versus rape apologists, and the other protection of whistleblowing journalists versus apologists for western totalitarianism.

There may indeed be both kinds of apologists on Babble but the issues need not be framed in such antagoinistic way for anyone who actually cares about justice (or logic), and who recognize that both the framers can have legitimate concerns.

The problem is that the two concerns (justice for women; protection of whistleblowers) SHOULD be entirely separate issues even when involving the same central figure (Assange) and which have their separate just process of resolution.

Unfortunately, they HAVE been linked by the prosecutorial states of the US/UK/Sweden and aided by the complicit media and their readers. They have been linked de facto proceduraly while at the same time, through smoke and mirrors, that link has been downplayed and denied by the states/media.

As the situation now exists there are 2 obvious resolutions:

1)Assange could submit himself for extadition to Sweden for incareration which would, according to all indicators, result in reshipment to a lifelong US hellhole based on an indictment that has nothing to do with the uncharged sex accusations.
No-one concerned with justice for women (or any justice) could endorse this.
It would be both insane and unjust for Assange to agree to this whether or not he was guilty of sex crimes, since this "punishment" would be unrelated to the sex accusations, except as a pretext for capture.

2)The states of the US/UK/Sweden could work out guarantees that he would not be extradited to a third nation. This would demonstrate that the main concern is indeed the course of justice for the women accusers. Don't hold your breath on that one.

Constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald outlined the issues involved in his column 2 days ago what would be a logical resoulution to this, which will continued to be refused by the prosecutorial states:

Quote:
The bizarre, unhealthy, blinding media contempt for Julian Assange

It is possible to protect the rights of the complainants in Sweden and Assange's rights against political persecution, but a vindictive thirst for vengeance is preventing that....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/22/julian-assange-media...

Lord Palmerston

The Greenwald piece you cite I think helps move the debate forward.  He also provides a link to a Swedish jurist who supports Assange going to Sweden but at the same believes they can and should issue a guarantee against extradition.  

He also clarifies a lot of the claims that are really baseless, like the "why did the Swedes refuse to come to London" gambit.

http://ibnkafkasobiterdicta.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/the-julian-assange-...

Fidel

Kara wrote:
Allegations - I used the wrong word.  Big f'ing deal, doesn't change the fact that you and others are so blinded by your agenda you automatically assume the alleged victim in this case is either lying or being used as a dupe.  You are more than willing to give Assange the benefit of the doubt but not willing to give her any benefit of the doubt whatsoever.

I apologize if I have offended you. I'm not assuming that anyone is lying, and the two people accusing Assange obviously have a good lawyer with integrity representing them. 

On the other hand, Assange and his lawyers have invited Swedish authorities to interview Assange there at the Ecuadoran embassy in London. They have refused.

They could also issue a guarantee that Swedish authorities would abide by international law and not allow extradition to the United States where Assange's right to a fair trial is highly in doubt. 

It appears that none of Sweden, Britain or the United States of America are interested in adhering to international law. Assange has agreed to cooperate, so why can't the U.S and its European minions of doom offer to do the same? And given the current state of lawlessness in America and Europe with respect to all that has happened since 9/11, I, personally, would not trust anything western governments offered me if I was in Assange's situation. The two women accusing Assange have rights, and so does Julian Assange have certain rights. And the entire situation is tainted by colder war political maneuvering. It's not saying very much for the state of lawlessness in general here in the western world. This is just a small example of western world hypocrisy, and it's on display for all the world to observe. 

Unionist

contrarianna wrote:

There may indeed be both kinds of apologists on Babble but the issues need not be framed in such antagoinistic way for anyone who actually cares about justice (or logic), and who recognize that both the framers can have legitimate concerns.

Honestly, contrarianna, I read my posts, and yours, and I can't quite understand your lengthy concern. My point was simple. Irrespective of any accusations or charges against Assange in Sweden, would we grant him refugee status if the situation and request arose? I thought this was an issue on which we could all agree, without over-analyzing who "we" are.

 

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

Fidel wrote:

On the other hand, Assange and his lawyers have invited Swedish authorities to interview Assange there at the Ecuadoran embassy in London. They have refused.

Ok and if after said interview those Swedish authorities decide they want to arrest and charge Assange can they lead him out of the embassy in handcuffs back to Sweden? 

Fidel

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

Fidel wrote:

On the other hand, Assange and his lawyers have invited Swedish authorities to interview Assange there at the Ecuadoran embassy in London. They have refused.

Ok and if after said interview those Swedish authorities decide they want to arrest and charge Assange can they lead him out of the embassy in handcuffs back to Sweden? 

They would have to violate international law to do it. 

But again, Assange is not charged with anything by any country's police services. If the Swedes want to interview Assange, and doing so would surely aid the two women's case against him, Assange is willing to cooperate. It is they who have refused not Assange. Why?

Are the Swedes, Brits and Yanks really interested in prosecuting rape allegations against Assange? It doesn't look like it. It appears the Gladio Gang have an ulterior motive for pursuing Assange. What could it be?

contrarianna

Unionist wrote:

Honestly, contrarianna, I read my posts, and yours, and I can't quite understand your lengthy concern. ...

Sorry, Unionist. It is my fault that you that thought the entire post was a reply to your objection.
Except for the first short 2 paragraphs, the latter part was my take on the Babble situation and was typed just prior to seeing  your post at all.
I do maintain that Babble posters do not manifest solidarity on this subject, for the reasons outlined, and represent a "we" only by virtue of being Babble posters.

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