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back to article Assange calls for help from … Quakers?

Julian Assange has revealed himself to the world from the balcony of London's Ecuadorean embassy and made a statement that lays the blame for his predicament on the hypocrisy of the USA. In the statement Assange calls on the USA to “... return to and reaffirm the values it was founded on” and stop pursuing him lest we find …

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Happy

I always thought the values America was founded on

was smacking the Brits upside the head

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Anonymous Coward

Poor Guy

The only entertainment he has is a box of Monopoly. How long will he last?

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Meh

Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

Their values have always been self interest.

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Re: Poor Guy

If he owns Park Place and Boardwalk, I think he got some time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

"was smacking the Brits upside the head"

...What with the help of France, Spain, and the Netherlands you mean?

Amazes me how there's this fallacy about a few American backwoodsmen with squirl rifles fighting off the British Army and Navy, Google the battle of Yorktown and then tell me who supplied the manpower and the navy that defeated the British.

Always strikes me as ungrateful the yanks forget about this when they come up with crap like "Freedom fries" or calling the French cowardly, likelihood was at that time they wouldn't have had self determination in the first place without the help of the French

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

I thought it was religious intolerance.

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Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

No they wanted the freedom to be religously intolerant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

That the name of one of the generals on the revolutionary side was Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette is a bit of a give-away.

Being a monarchy, the French were not guided by humanitarian zeal but workign on the principle of "my enemy's enemy is my friend". Bit them on the arse later when the French revolution started.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

Well it was the also the French who donated the statue of Liberty, innit?

Make your own judgement.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

On a solid foundation of stealing the land from the current inhabitants.

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Joke

Re: Poor Guy

"The only entertainment he has is a box of Monopoly."

Apparently he moved his little top hat token off to the chess set when he landed on a hotel in Mayfair, and tried to claim asylum there.

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Mushroom

@AC Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

And you wonder why the Americans are so fond of their weapons.

It pains me that so many have forgotten their history lessons.

Granted you need to go back to roughly 1750's to start to see the issue, however, if we go back to the last century, we can see that in the 'Great War' the US sent troops and supported the Brits. Then in the second world war, we not only supplied the troops, but also the industrial capacity to bail the Brits out a second time.

Oh and even then during the Falklands... how did the UK's long range bombers get refueled?

The more you know.

Read 'The Nation Takes Shape' to understand a bit more of the 'Amerikan' understanding of our complex relationship.

Oh and the latest UK exports? Posh and Beckham? You can have them back... along with Simon Cowel...

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Re: solid foundation

On a solid foundation of stealing the land from the current inhabitants

and, lest we forget the irony of ironies, the theft of intellectual property - a fact rather conveniently ignored..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC I always thought the values America was founded on

re: Posh, Beckham & Simon :

Well, hot news as released by Wickedleaks : they are likely to be agents working for the Iranian government obtaining key information on how the population and media companies in the US are able to part with their money. Lock them up at Guantánamo indefinitely without trial ; don't send them back to the UK please.

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Re: @AC I always thought the values America was founded on

@Ian Michael Gumby

At a cost: The UK have had to pay for the help the US supplied. Not unreasonably, I'd add, but the aid wasn't freely given.

The US were not alone in supporting the UK is fighting the Germans, either. However, it's not a war we fought for personal gain: We fought it to defend our allies (surprisingly, the French!). And since then we've accepted the role of 'speed bump' should the Russians invade (along with the West German army). We'd slow them down so the US can sort itself out and send troops. Why? Because the US has the numbers. However, can you please tell your military to stop shooting our troops? It's bad form, all this blue-on-blue action! And if there is blue-on-blue, don't reward the idiots who shot the British troops, especially when it's proven the shooting was totally uncalled for (known patrol on approved route with correct colours and who call in with correct call signs to request the idiots in the A10's stop shooting at them)...

Oh, and please, don't send those 'celebrities' back. Can't you just... well... send them to Gitmo, please? Call it a celebrity reality show or something! Just... not back here. It took us ages to get rid of them!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC I always thought the values America was founded on

"Oh and even then during the Falklands... how did the UK's long range bombers get refueled?"

By Victor tankers, which are ours. Launched from Ascension island. Which is also ours. We just rent the runway out to you.

But thanks for the Sidewinders.

Shame it always takes you so long to notice that there's a war on...

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Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

"Well it was the also the French who donated the statue of Liberty, innit?"

To pay for the project, there was fund-raising on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Holmes

@Patient one ... see you proved my point .. Re: @AC I always thought the values

First there were the Puritans. (White Trash from Britain who had some strange religious beliefs and were intolerant of others.)

Then you sent your criminals to Australia.

Fast forward to today.. and you dump your has been stars here.

Sorry no, we're not going to take it. You have to take them back.

We already have our quota filled with mindless goobs who make money by being fake reality TV 'stars' .

We would send them to Cuba, however that would be grounds for starting WW III.

There are international laws about dumping toxic trash, and while the US won't enforce them by letting you our great ally, we will not risk war with Cuba.

So please take them back or at least send them to Canada?

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@Ian Michael Gumby

"Then in the second world war, we not only supplied the troops, but also the industrial capacity to bail the Brits out a second time".

And made sure you got paid in full, down to the very last penny, the second time. The UK made the final payment about 10 years ago. Incidentally, the USA's insistence on full repayment of WW1 war debts played a possibly decisive part in bringing about WW2. (See, for example, John Maynard Keynes' excellent book "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/15776). Which was also good for America, as with each world war its grip on the world economy grew stronger and its rivals were shattered.

In both WW1 and WW2, the USA followed its own national interests (or rather those of its richest bankers and industrialists) to the exclusion of everything else. The facts are these:

1. The USA remained resolutely neutral for the first 27 months of the war, while Germany conquered Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, and all of the USSR up to the Moscow tramlines. It remained steadfastly neutral through Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, and the Blitz.

2. The USA never declared war on Germany or Japan until AFTER they had declared war on it. (In other words, the American declaration of war on Germany was a PR stunt, designed so later they could say "when we declared war on Germany...") As we know, Japan declared war shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. A week later, Hitler personally declared war on the USA - and that is how it wound up as our ally. Britain declared war on Germany because it invaded Poland. But the USA waited until Germany declared war on it, when it no longer had any choice.

Ironically enough, ever since its failure to tackle Hitler (a very dangerous enemy), the USA has been throwing its weight around, attacking weaker countries that have no chance of defending themselves successfully - usually without a declaration of war, as in the cases of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Ian Michael Gumby

"Which was also good for America, as with each world war its grip on the world economy grew stronger and its rivals were shattered."

Sealed at Bretton Woods, :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system

"Yet, U.S. officials were determined to open their access to the British empire. The combined value of British and U.S. trade was well over half of all the world's trade in goods. For the U.S. to open global markets, it first had to split the British (trade) empire. While Britain had economically dominated the 19th century, U.S. officials intended the second half of the 20th to be under U.S. hegemony.[6]

A Senior Official of the Bank of England commented:

One of the reasons Bretton Woods worked was that the US was clearly the most powerful country at the table and so ultimately was able to impose its will on the others, including an often-dismayed Britain. At the time, one senior official at the Bank of England described the deal reached at Bretton Woods as “the greatest blow to Britain next to the war”, largely because it underlined the way in which financial power had moved from the UK to the US.

A devastated Britain had little choice. Two world wars had destroyed the country's principal industries that paid for the importation of half of the nation's food and nearly all its raw materials except coal. The British had no choice but to ask for aid. Not until the United States signed an agreement on December 6, 1945 to grant Britain aid of $4.4 billion did the British Parliament ratify the Bretton Woods Agreements (which occurred later in December 1945).[8]"

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Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

> "Well it was the also the French who donated the statue of Liberty, innit?"

> To pay for the project, there was fund-raising on both sides of the Atlantic.

The statue was a gift from the French. The Americans had to raise funds for the pedestal to put it on.

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Pint

Re: @Patient one ... see you proved my point .. @AC I always thought the values

"So please take them back or at least send them to Canada?"

Not until you take back rap music.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

Actually in American schools it is well taught that the French and certain groups of native Americans help. The people that forget this are the same folks that want to take women's rights away. Not all AMericans are that way. Just a certain political party.

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Re: @Ian Michael Gumby

You do know that FDR wanted to declare war against Japan. Congress would not let him. So in response he came up with policies that he hoped would force Japan to attack. Like not giving Japan steel and oil.

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Re: @Ian Michael Gumby

"The USA remained resolutely neutral for the first 27 months of the war"

Whilst this is true, it is also true that FDR could not find a way to go to war without mobilising substantial internal opposition. At the same time the US still regarded the UK as an imperial power (which it was, although limping from WWI), and as such anathema. There is a certain irony in the fact that the US is now a form of imperial power, good or bad. Don't we should not expect better of any state, historical or modern. We are slowly changing things and overturning the madness of history (for example, after WWII we appeared to learn the lesson that Lloyd-George saw the French had not after WWI) and did not inflict penurious reparations on the Germans. Indeed, the Berlin airlift changed their opinions of us.

History is a complex subject for study. I reckon.

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Re: @Patient one ... see you proved my point .. @AC I always thought the values

" "So please take them back or at least send them to Canada?"

Not until you take back rap music. "

That's no more music than is Schoenberg, Berg or Webern, surely?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC I always thought the values America was founded on

The question I'd like answered is, as I've raised here before: if the US hadn't entered the war, and we'd been almost-inevitably defeated by Nazi Germany, what was the USA's game plan? Do business with Nazi Europe-Africa-Orient, as it continued murdering the long list of peoples it made such a conscientious start on? And if we consider it likely that having 'won', such a regime would not have called it a day but would have turned it's attention to the Americas and, indeed, the entire world, what would the US have done at that point? Who would have got the Bomb first? Neutral USA or that nation producing ICBMs, cruise missiles, jet fighters and so on, who at that point would be having a much more relaxed time of it, would have had their Norwegian heavy water, along with rather more Uranium, intact infrastructure, riches, and slave labour?

Seems to me there's a case for seeing Britain as having saved the US's bacon by holding out until it got off it's donkey.

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Re: @AC I always thought the values America was founded on

> "...we'd been almost-inevitably defeated by Nazi Germany..."

That's far from necessarily true.

The war against the Nazis was quite well advanced for the Allies at the time of the entry of the US. In truth, we were just very lucky. The Germans made some critical mistakes towards the end combined with crucial intelligence at the right time.

Don't forget also that US soldiers were helping the war effort before they entered the war full pelt.

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Boffin

@Tom Welsh...Re: @Ian Michael Gumby

I think you need to take a look at US History during the 30's and try to understand that there was a large political faction that wanted the US to be isolationists. Let the rest of the world fight it out and we just stay home and bury our head in the dirt.

There were also Nazi sympathizers here too. Being the 'melting pot' has its negatives too.

Some would even postulate that the US knew about Pearl Harbor before the attack and let it happen so that we would have an excuse to enter the war.

There's a lot to the history that people seem to forget.

And of course you seem to also forget things like the Marshal plan and the fact that at Casablanca and later at Potsdam the cold war was set in motion.

But then again, maybe you're right. We're just a bunch of dumb Americans where a percentage of the population think the Holocaust was a lie. ( I don't. My father was 14th Armored, 3rd Army but you get the point)

And Ironically had some of our politicians remembered WW II and early post War Germany, lots of mistakes wouldn't have happened in Iraq.

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Angel

@Psyx Re: @Patient one ... see you proved my point ..

Well I see that the UK have banned Snoop Dog and his posse. That's a good first start.

Tell you what. We'll take out Vanilla Ice, if you stop Sasha Baron Cohen from doing his Ali G Character from now on. Also we'll see what we can do about Jamie Kennedy.

See how easy it is to solve a problem once you start to work together?

The more you know...

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Anonymous Coward

@AC Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

"Actually in American schools it is well taught that the French and certain groups of native Americans help. The people that forget this are the same folks that want to take women's rights away. Not all AMericans are that way. Just a certain political party."

That's ok, don't think we consider all Americans to be idiots, we just dislike the "America can do no wrong", "right to bear arms", "we saved your ass in 2 world wars", Fox News loving History Channel watching, American Revolution revisionists types we get on these boards, the kind who believes Stephen Spielberg and John Wayne's version of World War 2 in Europe.

It's nice to meet an American with a balanced view of history, but can you ban the other guys from using the internet?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Scorchio

Very complex subject history

On one hand the US wanted a post war Germany (part of it) as a buffer against the Soviet horde, and on the other it took any top talent that had been involved in weapons development and shipped it to the States.

The US ended lend-lease suddenly when Britain was still on a war-footing regarding its industry, but was prepared to adavance money to rebuild the european economies on the right side of the line. But that did mean the now free peoples of Europe could buy American supplies.

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Anonymous Coward

New levels of farce, on both sides

Assange: Leave me alone!

US: We have no interest (that we will disclose)

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FAIL

Re: New levels of farce, on both sides

"Assange: Leave me alone!"

To me it sounded to me more like:

"Hey, look over here, free speech and Wikileaks and err... Merning... yeah him... shit: I mean Manning! We must never forget about him*! Aaaannndddd... shiny things over here, look over here and forget why I'm standing here. (PS: Don't mention rapes or bail jumping)."

It was just diversionary crap. Remind me to talk about war-crimes next time I'm in court for a speeding ticket. I'm sure that'll make everyone forget about what I did, too.

*What was it Wikileaks finally coughed up for his defence fund? $30,000 for the guy who gave them the story. Now ponder how much Assange's lawyers have cost, to date. And how much people have put on the line for him.

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Holmes

Is there actually a market for the truth?

Looking at the American election you have to wonder if anyone does value the truth these days. Every time I think Romney/Ryan have reached a limit, they surprise me with some bigger lie, and their campaign hasn't imploded yet...

However, assuming that the truth has value and that people want to know it, then I think the strategy of targeting Assange so aggressively may not be a good idea. Yes, they are cowing almost all of the professional journalists, but most of them started as cowards and went downhill from there. Unfortunately, the truth is still out there, and if the professional journalists won't pursue it, that just creates more opportunities for the amateur journalists. The problem for the liars and truth-concealers is that the motivations of the amateurs are much more mixed. If you have a small number of professionals working for money, you can also focus your countermeasures.

In contrast, if you have a LARGE number of amateurs flying off on many dimensions, it's going to make things much messier. One guy might be motivated by fame, another by notoriety, another by his personal position on the issue, another by something that happened to a family member, and on and on. The truth is still there, but the amateurs aren't going to have the same kinds of patterns in how they look for it or even stumble across it...

Insofar as I'm an optimist who thinks that things get better on the long-term average, maybe this prosecution of Assange will work out well enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

People voted for Ryan. They also at some point voted for Santorum and Palin. The simple fact that there are normal people in the world who could vote for them rather than heading for the hills as they approach is, to me, a cause of pessimism.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

"The simple fact that there are normal people in the world who could vote for them rather than heading for the hills as they approach is, to me, a cause of pessimism."

I went to a surprisingly evangelical CoE service in the UK yesterday for the first time and was more depressed by a) the volume of people there and b) the vehement agreement they had with the sentiment from the priest in that we shouldn't worry about this life as it's all a charade and preparing us for the next life. With that attitude, it rather explains a lot of voter's behaviours.

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Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

"I think the strategy of targeting Assange so aggressively may not be a good idea."

Huh? What? Where?

Julian is the one who jumped bail and ran to an embassy. Julian is the guy who had sex with a woman while she was asleep. Julian is the guy who is refusing to even co-operate and answer to the accusations in Sweden. Julian is the guy who says it's all a massive plot to get him (which is no surprise, because he's been paranoid since before the State Department had ever even heard of him).

America has issued no warrants for him. America has not charged him. America has not asked for extradition.

How is that "aggressively targeting Assange?" Can you please explain it, because I'm clearly being a bit slow here.

All I'm seeing is a bail jumping possible-rapist trying to draw our attention away from the fact.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

Except that the New Testament tells them to behave nicely to their neighbours while waiting for the next life (one of the few very clear directives in the Gospels) and Palin, Santorum, Bachmann and co. are not at all in favour of behaving nicely to your neighbours. Quite the reverse. I won't repeat the entire joke I was once told in Kentucky here, but the punchline is "Ten minutes a Republican and already I'm screwing someone."

But then, there was that study in the US which revealed that something like 40% of American Catholics and Protestants interviewed didn't even know the core tenets of their own religions; indeed the atheists scored higher than either of them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

"Except that the New Testament tells them to behave nicely to their neighbours while waiting for the next life"

Agreed, that wasn't really my point, more that ability to blindly believe what people tell you and not to question is terrifying.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

Except that it was honeytrap setup by the Yanks to get him eventually . Of course they are not gonna publicise this setup beforehand, isnt it?

Have you heard of behind the scenes antics of CIA,FBI e tal?

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Stop

Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

"Except that it was honeytrap setup by the Yanks to get him eventually . Of course they are not gonna publicise this setup beforehand, isnt it?"

Even if it was (and you have no evidence of that, just a keenness for conspiracy. Can I interest you in buying a book about an invisible guy who knows everything? Lack of evidence is not evidence in itself), honey traps aren't traps UNLESS YOU TAKE THE HONEY.

If you set most people up in a sting operation where to act illegally would be taking the bait you don't HAVE to act illegally. You do that to yourself. If you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, it's not the fault of the person who left the lid off; even if they left the lid off on purpose.

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Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

Judging by a lot of the comments here, I would say "not so much". Many people apparently prefer to slumber on peacefully, comfortably assuming that "the gummint knows best". If presented with strong evidence that the government is cheating, lying, and committing murder, they shoot the messenger. In this case, Assange.

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Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

"...the vehement agreement they had with the sentiment from the priest in that we shouldn't worry about this life as it's all a charade and preparing us for the next life".

A belief that has always been strongly encouraged - in the weak and poor - by the rich and powerful.

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Re: Is there actually a market for the truth?

"But then, there was that study in the US which revealed that something like 40% of American Catholics and Protestants interviewed didn't even know the core tenets of their own religions; indeed the atheists scored higher than either of them".

That's why they are atheists.

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Devil

Re: UNLESS YOU TAKE THE HONEY.

Or in this case DIDDLE the honey.

"Is there actually a market for the truth?"

.

"In Dublin's fair city,

Where the girls are so pretty,

I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,

As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,

Through streets broad and narrow,

Crying, "Cock Ups and Hussles, alive, alive, oh!"

.

Yep, there's a market for the truth. Two for a penny.

And if you want to diddle Molly, well, that's extra.

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Holmes

One thing I know...

...is that, as much as I support his principles, he will look a complete pillock if he now travels to Sweden and is NOT bundled in a FedEx bag to Washington.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One thing I know...

He knows it, why do you think he's resisting so hard. The best thing the US could do is wait until he's in Sweden, and say "Assange who? yawwwn".

Assange isn't a whistleblower, he's a narcissistic self-important tit who thinks that giving away other people's information is clever and makes him special. We should do what we do with any spoilt child, and just ignore him.

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Re: One thing I know...

"We should do what we do with any spoilt child, and just ignore him."

Ah, but you reckon without journalism's need to fill a newspaper, do a piece to camera, etc.

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