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back to article 'United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks'

This was the week when the UK's telecoms regulator Ofcom decided it totally wouldn't make any difference to competition if it just went ahead and gave Everything Everywhere a 4G monopoly. Plus the fact that Britain wants to be seen as a modern country worthy of bucketloads of investment even though it still doesn't have an up to …

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I've got to say

your comments on Wikileaks seem a bit puerile as if you were determined to misinterpret them.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if the US said they weren't interested in the man concerned. Then we'd see if he's fleeing justice or avoiding becoming the victim of a witch hunt.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've got to say

He's fleeing rape charges, nothing else.

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Megaphone

Re: I've got to say

El Reg also appears to be determined to misquote Lady Rimmington, trying to imply that she condemned the actions of Wikileaks as unimportant because the data they obtained was not significant. This is NOT the main thrust of what she was saying. Lady Rimmington has long been a campaigner and advocate of open and free information and your portrayal of her is entirely unfair. If you read the entire transcript of her statement you will see that, whilst critical of the value of the information she also questions whether it was appropriate for such things to be held as "secret" in the first place and goes on to discuss her belief that, wherever possible, information should be held in the public domain and not, as now, defaulted to "classified" simply at ministerial whim. Indeed, you even make report her REAL point in an earlier arcticle which you published a few days ago:

And I quote...

"Speaking in Australia, where she today delivered an address to the International Council on Archives conference , Rimington told The Reg that one of the issues public sector archivists need to deal with is what they do given at a time when much communication takes place casually. Prime Ministerial TXT messages, for example, may be key to reconstructing events [b]for which the public rightly wants them to be held to account and therefore belong in public archives. [/b]"

Stop selectively misquoting and editing statements, El. Reg! We expect better!

That said, Assange is still a complete muppet and would best serve Wikileaks by ending his association with it.

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Boffin

Lady Rimmington

If I may be excused for making a totally irrelevant aside, "Dame Stella" would be the correct form of address.

Rimington (one "m") holds the rank of Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath, and as a female member of a knightly order other than the Garter or the Thistle, she's correctly addressed as "Dame Stella" - just as her male counterparts are known as "Sir" followed by their forename.

Since you're no doubt now wondering, female members of the Garter or the Thistle are addressed as "Lady" followed by their forename.

Only if she were married to a knight, but not a member of a chivalric order in her own right, would she be addressed as "Lady Rimington".

There are even more confusing rules for peers, but covering the gentry is probably enough for one day. Now you know :-)

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Re: I've got to say

England could agree to fine him for the bail jump.

Sweden could agree not to extradite him for any crimes committed before June 2012.

The US could agree not to charge him with any crimes committed before June 2012.

Or England can take out the brutal record of 15 years by communist, totalitarian Hungary who confined Cardinal Mindszenty. (Does anyone recall if Hitler busted into a foreign embassy to make an arrest?)

As the years go by with Assange confined in the Ecuadorian Embassy, which way will public opinion move: to England or to Assange?

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Re: I've got to say

Fleeing rape charges my arse. You know, I know, we all know, with certainty that this is an attempt to get him to the US so they can lock him up in Guantanamo (I doubt they will even bother bringing charges).

The excuse that the 'US haven't requested extradition yet' is just that - an excuse, we ALL know that the minute the Brits get him they will either hand him direct to the US or onto Sweden, if he is handed to Sweden the US will immediately file for extradition and get it.

The rape accusations were just too close to the leaks embarrassing the US for it to have been mere coincidence. The US are upset and want to have their revenge.

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Re: I've got to say

These agreements would be made by politicians, now who in their right mind would trust a politician - we have a trail of broken promises we could fall back on as good reasons why you wouldn't. Politicians have no morals, no manners and care only for the size of their wallet.

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Re: I've got to say

Obama has his sights set on Assange, and Obama will see Assange's ass sitting in jail.

Deal with it.

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Pirate

Re: I've got to say

The rape charges were laid coincidentally at the time of Assange announcing there would be a major data dump of a large US bank's information. The dump never happened, but the rape charges are still sticky.

Who's in charge? The bankers. The US military enforces the US dollar as the reserve currency. Assange has a right to be afraid. Who in the world is benefiting from all of the bailouts, etc.?

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Re: I've got to say

This coward decide to set up camp in the Embassy he can rot there.

The UK should throw Equador's ambassador and Embassy out of the country for interfering in its legal system and allowing its premises to be used as a pulpit. Unfortunately the P.M. lacks balls.

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Megaphone

Re: I've got to say

Quote: This coward decide to set up camp in the Embassy he can rot there.

The UK should throw Equador's ambassador and Embassy out of the country for interfering in its legal system and allowing its premises to be used as a pulpit.

So we should just disregard somone seeking political asylum and hand then over to the regime they are fleeing, right?

Obviously by you are American and by taking that tone you are showing us WHY he wishes to avoid US justice, his rights, both human and legal, will be totally disregarded.

On the plus side, perhaps some kind of prisoner exchange can be negotiated. How about we give you Asange, you give us McKinnon?

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Megaphone

Re: I've got to say

> So we should just disregard somone seeking political asylum and

> hand then over to the regime they are fleeing, right?

Whoever said Assange was seeking POLITICAL asylum? Politics has nothing to do with it, Assange is just being cowardly. If it DID have to do with politics, why choose Equator, a country with an oppressive attitude towards free press?

Should Equator just disregard the legal system of the U.K., their host country, and interfere with the laws of the E.U.?

It's really hypocritical when Equator complains that the U.K. is interfering with Equator's interference.

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Facepalm

"Unfortunately the P.M. lacks balls."

Either that, or he is not entirely bereft of common sense.

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Re: I've got to say

Well, he would say that the charges are a pretext to take him out and silence him. The fact that the UK has deployed counter-terrorism forces to arrest him would seem to indicate he is a bit more than a common rapist.

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Stop

Re: I've got to say

A broken condom during consensual sex is rape in Sweden...

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The Wikileaks comments were pathetic and disgraceful. A massive black mark for Parnell, and sadly yet another for the once-great Register.

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WTF?

Straw man

Now there's a straw man argument if ever I saw one. Where and when did Assange state that he or his staff shouldn't be prosecuted for any and all crimes they may or may not have committed? He only states, and I agree with him, that they should not be prosecuted for bringing the truth to light via Wikileaks. He's been more than willing to go to Sweden if they would promise not to extradite him to the US. Considering how the US has been handling these kind of cases lately, I wouldn't want to be extradited there either.

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Re: Straw man

But Sweden has ALREADY said they can't extradite him to the US due to EU law, since a charge of Espionage in the US can warrant the death penalty. It's just that Assange doesn't seem to want to take the EU law at face value, believing they'll weasel a way around the law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Straw man

And if the US told them they wouldn't execute him? Then that would be ok right? So take what they did to Bradley Manning and do that to Assange for 70 years and see whether death looks so bad after all. What a pathetic answer.

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Re: Straw man

IANAL but I believe you can extradite for capital offences, as long as the prosecuting authority (State or Federal) give undertakings not to seek the death penalty. Understandably, prosecutors intensely dislike this (as do the US public) as it highlights the fact that the US is one of the few "civilised" countries in the world that executes people.

I believe there have been a few cases where suspects have fled to Canada, who also will not extradite if the death penalty is a possibility.

There was a guy wanted in the US for child porn offences that the UK refused to extradite recently, as the state prosecutor refused to give assurances he wouldn't be put on some sort of "program" which the ECHR had determined was a cruel and unusual punishment.

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Re: Straw man

Not to mention Sweden *CAN'T* declare they would ignore or decline any extraditions to the US without first seeing it. Any guarantees they make would be meaningless and probably illegal as it pre-judges a non-existent extradition request. Assange and his legal team know this too.

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Re: Straw man

If that is the case, then what harm would there be in giving him the assurance that he requested? If it's really that simple to proof him a liar, then why not do so?

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Re: Straw man

I see no reason why Sweden couldn't give out a guarantee not to extradite him to the US, and simply return him to the UK after the trial (and punishment in case he's found guilty) has been completed.

Considering what has happened to Manning, not to mention Guantánamo Bay (didn't Obama make a campaign promise to close that place down?), I wouldn't want to run the risk of being extradited to the US over "terrorist" charges either.

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Re: Straw man

I see no reason why Sweden couldn't give out a guarantee not to extradite him to the US, and simply return him to the UK after the trial (and punishment in case he's found guilty) has been completed.

=====

They'd be breaking their own legal obligations under treaties agreed. In the case of expulsion, I would expect that he'd go to australia. Why would the UK want him? Except maybe to prosecute him for jumping bail.

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Re: Straw man

As well they should. I have no problem with him being prosecuted for jumping bail, nor for being prosecuted for the rape charges. I do have a serious issue with the way the US has been handling this entire leak situation, starting with Manning.

As for the extradition to the US: I seriously doubt Sweden could not find a political solution here. Besides: if he's as likely to be extradited to the US from the UK as he is from Sweden, then my proposed solution would either expose him as a liar or it would solve this whole mess.

Currently however he's been granted asylum in Equador. Not exactly a place I'd want to be, but it's certainly created a situation that requires some serious political negotiation.

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Manning is a soldier-at-arms...

Manning was processed in an overseas military process. He had sworn an oath of fealty. He subsequently broke.that oath. He is serving punishment for that. If anyone filed a writ to bring him to civilian court, it would fail because of the agreement in the oath/agreement...

Manning is screwed. Assange must have foreseen that process. Assange simply didn't take the usual measures to protect his source. Assange is trying to talk his way out of Manning's predicament, but Manning isn't going to be released. No military person in the world believes that Manning is going to see an unbarred wi Dow anytime soon.

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Re: Straw man

"If that is the case, then what harm would there be in giving him the assurance that he requested? If it's really that simple to proof him a liar, then why not do so?"

And what would this promise of magic beans look like exactly? There is nothing they can provide, assurances or otherwise, that his legal team wouldn't just say "that's worthless" to. And again, they know that. It's like asking for a magic carpet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Manning is a soldier-at-arms...

Manning confessed his leaking of the docs to Adrian Lamo, Lamo then passed the emails to the FBI.

Can't really see what 'usual measures' Assange was supposed to of taken to prevent that?

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Re: Manning is a soldier-at-arms...

Sources can be protected by edit-reductions or cross-pollinating key information with other sources. It is Journalism 101. If Assange keeps silent with properly edited/mixed info, then Manning cannot be singled out. Assange might get a contempt citation, but Manning isn't 'outed'.

Manning got caught because his material was used in very-pure form without any other intermixing. Manning's confession might not have been sought if the normal journalistic practices were followed. He only confessed after being presented with the case.

Manning had no way out, once Assange published what he published.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Straw man

So basically you're saying that the UK and Swedish governments would WILLINGLY violate EU law and international treaties and draw international condemnation...at the drop of an American hat? How would Assange respond if the challenge were put THAT bluntly?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Manning is a soldier-at-arms...

"Manning got caught because his material was used in very-pure form without any other intermixing. "...

"He only confessed after being presented with the case."

Utter nonsense

"His material" was identical to the material that it seems any Private could of laid their hands on, and it was his confession that led to a case against him, not the other way round.

"Lamo, 30, dubbed the "world's most hated hacker" for his role in passing information on Manning to military intelligence after the soldier befriended him on internet chat"...

"Lamo ( ... ) passed the details of the internet conversation to the US military. On 26 May, Manning was arrested on duty at the Forward Operating Base Hammer outside Baghdad, where he was working as an intelligence officer."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/15/hacker-adrian-lamo-bradley-manning-wikileaks

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Re: Manning is a soldier-at-arms...

You are digging into your diaper and telling us that it is gold.

1) He CONFESSED.

2) Lamo is part of the investigation.

3) Private citizens DO NOT have access to the classified stuff that Assange published

Except for that, you and I are saying the same thing...

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Wish I could up vote you more, I'm sick of hearing him distort reality to make it sound like is stand is a noble one, there is no legal reason Sweden would extradite him, if there was we'd probably have been obliged to do so too. If the charges are as weak as people say he'll be free pretty quickly and this has all been a publicity stunt. Or if found guilty we won't have to hear from him for years.

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Second time around.

Vic 4. You seem completely unaware of the fact that Swedish authorities already investigated this "crime" and found the allegations to be "unfounded".

They only started chasing after this again after that fact.

So the facts bear witness that there may be a hidden agenda behind this.

"It's not paranoia when everyone really is our to get you"

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Re: Second time around.

This and all the other defences continually thrown up have been examined at length through the many court cases that have taken place before coming to this point.

Each one has been proven to be incorrect, ill conceived (based on confusing the swedish legal process with the UK or US one) or just wrong.

They are out to get him, yes, because he's accused of rape.

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FAIL

Re: hidden agenda

The simplest and most obvious is usually the reason for things. Things I've read online certainly imply some rather flaky claims. If that is true and I was him I'd want to clear by name asap, I wouldn't be able to stand the thought of anyone thinking I could do something like that.

All this posturing smacks of either desperation or egotism, I for one am tired of him been plastered on the tv, especially when he delays a speech for hours. Was he held up in traffic maybe or just trying to create some sense of drama. Personally I think he was getting off listening to the letters of support.

But to think that the UK or Sweden are going to publicly pack him off to the US or turn a blind eye while he magically disappears and turns up in the us is frankly ludicrous.

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Alert

Re: Second time around.

"They are out to get him, yes, because he's accused of rape"

No, 'they' are out to get him because he has been accused, several days after the fact, of Sex by Surprise. If the Swedish authorities are so keen to see 'justice' done, why don't they simply declare him guilty in absentia and sentence him to the maximum penalty permissible by law, which I believe is currently a 5,000 kronor (around 500 quid - curse these Aussie keyboards!) fine?

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Coffee/keyboard

You learn something new every day

... like the existance of the word "splaffed." I can't find a definition anywhere but I'll keep that one for a future bout of scrabble.

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Pint

Re: You learn something new every day

Google to the rescue.

Q:

define:splaff

A:

SPLAFF is your source for eco-conscious sandals, belts, bags, and accessories made of natural hemp, used bike inner tubes, and recycled race car tires.

"splaffed" would therefore be the past tense of splaff--that is, used hippie sandals.

QED.

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Coat

How to solve the Assange problem

It is very easy. Assange has broken UK law (he skipped his bail). That is an offence that could carry a prison sentence. But why bother? why waste the money?

He is effectively under house arrest now. He can't go out of the embassy because he will be arrested. Just wind the police presence down to two bobbies, one at the back and one at the front to arrest him if he puts a foot outside. Otherwise, let the Ecuadorian s feed and house him.

See, he becomes Schroedinger's Assange: he is free and not free at the same time. Everyone wins.

Mines the one with Quantum Jail Principles in the pocket.

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Re: How to solve the Assange problem

Given the public assurance given by the Ecuadoran ambassador that they will not smuggle him out of the UK, why bother with *any* police presence ? Save the money. I suspect that the second he leaves the embassy, Ecuador will suddenly not want him back again.

I read on another forum an interesting observation that given the Ecuadoran ambassador is quite foxy, and Assange is notoriously permanently on heat, and the embassy is a small flat, the situation might be resolved quicker than we think ....

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Re: How to solve the Assange problem

Pu your coat back on, best solution going, though I'd just get an undercover policeman to sit around the corner in a taxi, when he comes out causally drive past and bobs you uncle (actually, bob is my uncle, find your own)

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Anonymous Coward

Splaffing Imperiously

When did El Reg turn into a government media organ?

Open your eyes, if you're able.

http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/24/new-statesman-error-assange-swedish-extradition?cat=commentisfree&type=article

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Facepalm

Re: Splaffing Imperiously

"Comment Is Free" - well you certainly get what you pay for...

All that article says, in a long rambling diatribe (I assume he's paid by the word) is that a government can overrule extradition orders by the court (same way Home Secretary can be appealed to here). Doesn't change the basic premise that a) the same government official would be in place if extradition was served or b) that to pre-judge and rule on a non-existent extradition request outside of due process is fundamentally flawed.

Glenn Greenwald has effectively corrected a spelling mistake and thinks he's debunked the entire argument.

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FAIL

@ Annihilator Another Example of Splaffing Imperiously

A country's laws on extradition do not have to be justified to other nations, any more than it's laws on rape do.

Annihilator:"Doesn't change the basic premise that a) the same government official would be in place if extradition was served or b) that to pre-judge and rule on a non-existent extradition request outside of due process is fundamentally flawed."

If so the US would be in the International Court of Fundamentally Flawed Laws at the Hague faster than you could say 'extraordinary rendition'.

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WTF?

Re: @ Annihilator Another Example of Splaffing Imperiously

"A country's laws on extradition do not have to be justified to other nations, any more than it's laws on rape do."

Do keep up, even if that were true (and it's not), they do have to be justified and written in their own statutes and they're highly unlikely to change them on the whim of a suspected rapist and bail dodger.

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Re: @ Annihilator Another Example of Splaffing Imperiously

You are partially right. When a country changes it's extradition or diplomacy laws, it can annoy the nation with whom it has the extradition treaty but still prevail. Or it can annoy every nation on earth and end up wiping its butt with a travesty like its Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 and not prevail.

Really, with all these fora, do you consider the interest in Julian Assange, suspected rapist and bail dodger, merely a whim? Interesting.

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Ugh

I'm REALLY getting tired of this Assange guy. Can't he just enjoy the hospitality of the Ecuadorians in silence or at least without press coverege every time he wants to open his yap?

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