I always thought the values America was founded on
was smacking the Brits upside the head
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 …
"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
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.
> "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.
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...
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.
@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!
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?
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...
"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...
"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.
"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, :
"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.
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)."
"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.
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.
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.
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.
> "...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.
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.
"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?
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"...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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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.
Nah - a celebrity has never been a great actor/author - they are famous.
Celebrities are, and have always been, people who are well known for being....well known (And usually spend most of their free time cutting ribbons with oversized scissors). People who are famous are famous FOR something..i.e. you are a famous xxxx.
[although these day the proles of this world are so interested in reading about celebrities that we are starting to get people who are 'famous celebrities'!]
Someone gave away secret information to Churchill before WW2 that demonstrated the Nazis were re-arming. Churchill was not in Government at the time as so had no legal access to the information. As a result we knew what Germany was up to and could prepare for WW2.
Someone sent our MPs expenses to the media and as a result we found out what a bunch of cheating, devious, greedy people we have in our parliament.
So is leaking information always wrong?
"So is leaking information always wrong?"
I'm not sure how you've got to "Assange is an arrogant, rapey twat" (I'm paraphrasing slightly...) to "You're saying leaking any information is wrong."
Wikileaks did some great things. Don't confuse that with avoiding questioning for rape. The two are different issues. It's just that Julian is trying to convince us that they aren't.
I think if you review your history, while Churchill wasn't the PM he was still in politics.
But that's a different issue.
With respect to leaks....
Iraq actually leaked that they did have WMDs. Saddam admitted to it in the time before they strung him up. He did it to keep Iran at bay and didn't think the Americans were to gullible. For those who don't remember, Both Iran and Iraq lost generations in that war.
The interesting thing about leaks. All political entities leak information. Sometimes intentional. Its what you do with those leaks. In your example, they got to the right hands. BTW... here's a shocker. Everybody knew what was going to happen. They either lacked the proof or the desire to show their own hand. Remember what happened a couple of decades earlier. The leaks provided that proof.
The leaks themselves aren't the issue, its what you do with them and how you get them.
A whistle blower is usually someone who has legitimate access to the material taken. Manning didn't.
And to your point... leaking always wrong? No. Wikileaks? Yes. Which is why his early cohorts left and started their own site.
"1) Swedes ignore offers to interview St Julian except on their own territory - why?"
Because, consistent with the requirements of the Swedish CJS, they wanted to interview and charge him for rape; in Sweden the accused has the right, before being charged, to speak. This can only be done on the jurisdiction from which he fled, seemingly after his legal counsel - the Swedish police having inadvisedly informed him of their intent - let him know, thereby causing his professional association to schedule an 'interview' with him. When, in an English court, t/his legal counsel denied being contacted by the Swedish police, he consulted his phone log and, in the same court session in an English court, retracted his denial and admitted they HAD been in contact. They can't even keep their lies straight in court.
"2) Swedish Government won't make a legally-binding statement that under no circumstances will they extradite St J to be tortured in Guantanamo (or wherever else they're doing it these days)"
They cannot extradite him to the US when they have reclaimed him using an EAW. It is in the European legislation that they must first ask the UK (who are more likely to accede to US requests, as they did with McKinnon, although both the UK and Sweden will not on principle extradite if capital punishment is involved).
"3) BritGov won't make a binding statement that they will not permit extradition to USA (which I believe they can do as part of the extradition to Sweden)."
Ahah! 'I see what you did there'; you reversed the protocol. No, you are plain wrong; it is the Swedes who, as a part of the EAW extradition cannot permit extradition without UK permission, see above.
Point four; the Ecuadorian government have in their keeping a man wanted for criminal offences, who is by virtue of being in their premises in contempt of our laws. If they wish to take the undiplomatic step of breaking UK laws to help an offender (and this convict is an offender by virtue of jumping bail alone) and thus interfering with our laws, then their diplomatic writ is all but destroyed in this country. If they wish to prattle on about 'colonialism' for parities' sake the Hispanic people in Ecuador (and indeed the rest of South America) should be treated in the way that whites have been in Africa; removed from power in the lands to which they, qua colonists, do not belong.
Point five this has nothing to do with the US; Assange is wanted for serious sexual offences in Sweden which, as you know, is in Europe. That's the big bit next to the UK, the one with the Hague in it.
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"Remind me what other criminal offences Assange is wanted for besides jumping bail. Thanks."
Rape (in Sweden). Assange is wanted for questioning by Swedish authorities with respect to one or more counts of alleged rape. After questioning Assange and completing their investigation, the Swedish authorities will then decide if there is a case to answer and if Assange is to be charged with any offences and tried in court.
" Q "Remind me what other criminal offences Assange is wanted for besides jumping bail. Thanks."
Rape (in Sweden). Assange is wanted for questioning by Swedish authorities with respect to one or more counts of alleged rape. After questioning Assange and completing their investigation, the Swedish authorities will then decide if there is a case to answer and if Assange is to be charged with any offences and tried in court. "
Four counts ( http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/assange-summary.pdf ):
"The President of the Queen's Bench Division, Sir John Thomas, on behalf of the Court, sets out the background to the allegations against Mr Assange, the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), his arrest in England and subsequent hearing in paragraphs 1 - 7. The EAW sets out four offences:
“1. Unlawful coercion - On 13-14 August 2010, in the home of the injured party [AA] in Stockholm, Assange, by using violence, forced the injured party to endure his restricting her freedom of movement. The violence consisted in a firm hold of the injured party’s arms and a forceful spreading of her legs whilst lying on top of her and with his body weight preventing her from moving or shifting.
2.Sexual molestation -On 13-14 August 2010, in the home of the injured party [AA] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity. Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge.
3.Sexual molestation - On 18 August 2010 or on any of the days before or after that date, in the home of the injured party [AA] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity i.e. lying next to her and pressing his naked, erect penis to her body.
4.Rape - On 17 August 2010, in the home of the injured party [SW] in Enköping, Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state.
It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the
expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a
condom be used, still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The
sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s sexual integrity.” (para 3)"
Rape and sexual assault.
One possibility is that both women were recruited by unspecified organisations to seduce Assange and then claim rape/assault. Another possibility is that they are both lying for their own purposes. And a third possibility is that they have both actually been assaulted by a sex offender who is now happily hitting the front pages of the papers whilst they're trying to recover from the damage done to them.
Consider yourself reminded.
"One possibility is that both women were recruited by unspecified organisations to seduce Assange and then claim rape/assault. "
Maybe. It's certainly possible. Let's say that you're completely correct.
But tell me how that's an excuse to avoid questioning and potentially charges? It's for a court to decide. The police will investigate and the judiciary will then make their mind up, having access to *far more information about it than we have*. It is not the job of the media or the masses to decide guilt or innocence based on what the defendant says into a microphone.
Or is it ok for anyone feeling a bit paranoid or with a warrant to their name to spend a year fighting in court in order to avoid the situation and then run off elsewhere when that fails. Who decides when it's valid? What if every criminal does that?
The merits of wikileaks are not the discussion. Assange's guilt of rape is not the point. If the women were part of a plot or just pissed off is not even relevant any more. This is now about a man avoiding judicial process.
You raise an interesting possibility, however its a moot point.
Assuming your conspiracy theory were true, it has no effect on the EAW or the extradition hearing.
Assange is capable of raising that in his defense against the charges in Sweden. The fact remains that the UK doesn't try Assange for the crime of Rape, but validates that there is enough evidence of the crime presented to them and that the EAW is valid.
The EAW was found to be valid in 3 appeal hearings.
Consider yourself brought back to reality.
>Point four; the Ecuadorian government have in their keeping a man wanted for criminal offences, who is by virtue of being in their premises in contempt of our laws. If they wish to take the undiplomatic step of breaking UK laws to help an offender....
In some countries being gay is still a criminal offence punishable by death. Are you suggesting that if a homosexual sought refuge in a British embassy in one of these counntries then he should be denied help and thrown back out onto the street?
> In some countries being gay is still a criminal offence punishable by death. Are you suggesting that if a homosexual sought refuge in a British embassy in one of these counntries then he should be denied help and thrown back out onto the street?
That is what currently happens. Unless, of course, you can point to a single instance of a homosexual (non British/European) seeking refuge in a British Embassy in one of these countries and being granted asylum.
>That is what currently happens. Unless, of course, you can point to a single instance of a homosexual (non British/European) seeking refuge in a British Embassy in one of these countries and being granted asylum.
Did I suggest otherwise? But you could read "Escaping North Korea" by Mike Kim and see the part played by the British Consulate in Shanghai, I trust you accept my analogy extends to those seeking asylum for all types of persecution. However, back to the point I merely asked if Scorchio! was of the opinion that people persecuted for their sexual orientation should not be protected?
> Did I suggest otherwise?
You implied it. After re-reading your question it still sounds like you are implying they grant asylum.
> But you could read "Escaping North Korea" by Mike Kim and see the part played by the British Consulate in Shanghai
Your are seriously conflating Assange with Mike Kim? You think British Diplomatic missions should set up forged document centres for asylum seekers? How long do you think they would last?
> I merely asked if Scorchio! was of the opinion that people persecuted for their sexual orientation should not be protected?
No you didn't. You asked if British Embassies should throw people back onto the street. They do. So the question you should have asked is "Should British Embassies accept those seeking asylum for persecution for their sexual orientation?". Unless you think putting your sperm into a woman who does not want it is a sexual orientation, your question is completely irrelevant.
>You asked if British Embassies should throw people back onto the street. They do.
And youasked for an example of where a british embassy has protected people who the host nation considered to be criminals. In the case of the North Koreans the consulate staff physically dragged them out of the hands of Chinese guards and into the consulate grounds. That's a strange definition of throwing people out into the street.
Each case has to be considered on it's own merits but if it is decided that protection should be given then the host nation should respect that decision and not threaten to storm the embassy. If on the other hand it is felt protection is not needed then the only option is to throw them back out.
Whether you wish to think I am comparing the Assange case to one of political asylum is merely your mis-understanding of what I have written which is that something being a criminal act in the host nation is not reason enough for not considering whether to protect someone you think is being persecuted and granting that protection.
> And youasked for an example of where a british embassy has protected people who the host nation considered to be criminals.
And you pointed me to a book written by Mike Kim and an incident regarding the British Consulate in Shanghai (China).
Let me refresh you memory about that incident.
Four North Korean teenagers entered the British Embassy in China and asked for asylum in the USA. They where not wanted in China for any offences. A Chinese guard violated international law by entering the Embassy and attempting to drag the teenagers out. Embassy staff legally stopped the Chinese guard from dragging four teenagers out of the Embassy. The teenagers were not granted asylum and ended up in Seoul.
China did not consider the four teenagers to be criminals.
> They had entered China illegally and by default were criminals in the eyes of the Chinese.
Did China make any request of the British Embassy to hand them over? - No
Did China charge the four teenagers with any crime? - No
Did China issue any arrest warrants for the four teenagers> - No
Did the British Embassy grant them asylum - No
Did China grant the four teenagers visas to leave China and go to South Korea? - Yes
Your example fails on every count.
So if I murder someone I'm not a murderer until the murder comes to light and if I manage to make it to a friendly embassy before then there are no grounds for me being considered a criminal, interesting theory.
The koreans were smuggled into China, they were illegal immigrants and the British consulate protected them knowing full well they were criminals.
Your reasoning fails on every count.
> So if I murder someone I'm not a murderer until the murder comes to light and if I manage to make it to a friendly embassy before then there are no grounds for me being considered a criminal
What a bullshit analogy. If the host country is not interested in getting you out of the Embassy, questioning, arresting, charging you etc, then what's the problem?
> The koreans were smuggled into China, they were illegal immigrants and the British consulate protected them knowing full well they were criminals.
The Chinese made no attempt to get them, never even asked for them and even gave them a visa to leave the country. What was the British Embassy protecting them from?
Let's have a reminder of what I asked you for.
"Unless, of course, you can point to a single instance of a homosexual (non British/European) seeking refuge in a British Embassy in one of these countries and being granted asylum."
The Chinese authorities were not after these teenagers, they were never charged, arrested or questioned by Chinese authorities, and they were never granted asylum.
>What a bullshit analogy.
Your arguments are too powerful to overcome with reasoned thought and facts..
>even gave them a visa to leave the country
Now was this before or after they had sought asylum in the British consulate.
I think you'll find it was after. When they entered the consulate they were criminals and the consulate sheltered them.
I will not bother looking for homosexual persecution because persecution is applicable to all and this case is as good as any other.
>>What a bullshit analogy.
>Your arguments are too powerful to overcome with reasoned thought and facts..
No. Your analogy was bullshit. If the crime is undetected then there is nothing for the Embassy to protect them from. That is why you analogy was bullshit.
> Now was this before or after they had sought asylum in the British consulate. I think you'll find it was after. When they entered the consulate they were criminals and the consulate sheltered them.
I think you will find they were four teenagers who hadn't been convicted of any crime and were therefore not criminals.
In order for the British Embassy to protect them from the Chinese the Chinese have to actually ask for them. Since the Chinese never asked for them, the British never protected them. They simply let them stay there until the Chinese granted them a visa. If the Chinese had asked and the British refused then you might have an argument but as it is, you don’t.
One of the reasons the Chinese never asked is because it would have put the British in a difficult position. One of the reasons the British never granted asylum is because it would have put the Chinese in a difficult position. This is called diplomacy.
I'll try to say this using small words. The British consulate gave protection to people it knew had been smuggled into China illegally and knew that had this been known the Chinese would have arrested them. The host does not need to know of their existence, if you knowingly protect a murderer it does not make any difference that the actually identity of the murderer is known yet to the authorities.
Your insistence that the crime was not a crime for the Chinese because they didn't know just confirms my analogy.
You remind me of some of the high ranking US military personnel I used to work with in America. By the nature of the job we were doing they were supposedly and in fact were very intelligent yet when it came to all things Russian or Chinese these governments were always wrong, no questions no thought process. If the US government did the same they were right and just.
Had this been Anna Chapman seeking refuge in a foreign embassy in the USA I have no doubt that you would be arguing that the foreign embassy was in the wrong.
> The British consulate gave protection to people it knew had been smuggled into China illegally and knew that had this been known the Chinese would have arrested them.
Incorrect. Unless the four teenagers told the British that they entered China illegally or unless China told the British that the four teenagers entered China illegally then the British have no knowledge as to how they entered China.
> if you knowingly protect a murderer it does not make any difference that the actually identity of the murderer is known yet to the authorities.
True. However in your idiotic analogy the murder had taken place but NOBODY KNEW IT!!!
> Your insistence that the crime was not a crime for the Chinese because they didn't know just confirms my analogy.
I don't insist that at all. What I claim is that if the Chinese do not treat it as a crime, which they did not, then it is not a crime.
> Had this been Anna Chapman seeking refuge in a foreign embassy in the USA I have no doubt that you would be arguing that the foreign embassy was in the wrong.
Anna Chapman is a Russian National working for the Russian Government (as a spy). If she seeks refuge in the Russian Embassy then they will protect her. If she sought refuge in the British (or any other non-Russian Embassy) then they would kick her out if the Americans issued an arrest warrant. If the Americans never issued an arrest warrant then it is up the Embassy whether they let her stay or not. Which is what happened in China.
Enough of the hypotheticals, I'm still waiting for a real example.
Here is what Mike Kim says in his book:
"Usually it takes months for North Koreans seeking asylum to be cleared to leave China, but the four kids made it to South Korea within a matter of days. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyum was scheduled to visit Shanghai later that week to meet with President Hu Jintao, and the Chinese authorites wanted to avoid any unwanted media attention on the teenagers when Roh Moo-hyum arrived."
Note the first sentence: "Usually it takes months for North Koreans seeking asylum to be cleared to leave China". In other words it was a common occurrence. The Chinese didn't care. The British Embassy did not harbour fugitives or criminals. Had the Chinese demanded them back then the Embassy probably would have handed them over.
Your inability to come up with a genuine example and continued claims that the four North Koreans qualify simply demonstrates my point. The British Embassy will kick you out if the authorities in the host nation want to arrest you.
"In some countries being gay is still a criminal offence punishable by death."
I see that you are desperate, and are now exploiting the argumentum ad hominem. This is nothing to do with personal choice, but has everything to do with 4 counts of sexual abuse, and nothing at all to do with capital punishment. Indeed, neither the Swedish government nor the government of the UK will extradite if the death penalty is involved.
That you have to stoop so low, conflate issues and make use of illicit techniques in argument makes you every bit as bad as the convict, Julian Assange.
(Convicted for 25 counts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Hacking_and_conviction )
">That you have to stoop so low...
No, that would require accusing somoeone of using illicit techniques."
No, that would require gainsaying and other childish techniques in argument instead of addressing the point (that non sequiturs/conflating issues are neither valid nor true techniques in epistemology), such as those deployed by Julie in distracting from accusations of rape. Normally I'd suggest that you learn how to use your right hand:
Or perhaps talk to a row of kewpie dolls in the way that anonymous people do:
rather than trying to attract the attention of people focusing on the truth
However, and since I notice a new species of livestock that evidently sides with people who conflate issues/believes in the non sequitur, this is for you:
You could probably rig this up to work at the press of a button.
"Returning to your verbose reply to the AC that started this thread:
"He is expected to be interviewed and charged." -- is he? I had understood that he was expected to be interviewed, but until that interview takes place no charging decision is made. It is quite conceivable that after being interviewed, the Swedes will take no further action.
"He ran away when they served notice that they wished to interview him." -- did he? I had understood that he asked the prosecutor if they wished for him to remain in Sweden and they expressly gave permission for him to leave the country, on the understanding that he would return for an arranged interview (which he did not, but instead offered to be interviewed in person in the UK, at the Swedish Embassy, or by videolink).
"Saying you will never extradite is giving him free hand to break every US law there is." -- it is possible to be more specific about the circumstances in which one will not grant an extradition request, but I agree that it would be difficult for any country to make such a guarantee before a request materialises: indeed, such a guarantee could well breach some international agreements even if extradition was never requested.
"The US Grand Jury is anything but secret. It's a public hearing constituting a jury of citizens that determines if there is a case to be answered." -- is it? My reading of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 6(e)(2) "Secrecy" are that matters before a Grand Jury must not be disclosed, which meets most reasonable definitions of "secret".
Overall, it strikes me that you're not as informed as you purport. Ranting in a public forum about matters of which one is ill-informed strikes me as rather embarrassing."
Whoa, I just noticed that you quoted someone and attributed to me. Silly baby:
"He is expected to be interviewed and charged."
Not my words, though the Swedish police informed Assange's Swedish counsel of intention to follow the Swedish CJS format of interview, charge and then arrest. They advised Assange's legal counsel and, by strange coincidence, the Whackamole turned up in the UK.
All of the other quotes that you attribute to me belong to someone else, and you thus made yourself look rather silly and inept. If I want to say something I'll do so using my nick, unlike you 'anonymous', and I'll not look as uninformed and 'ignorant' as you [NB, this is not an ad hominem, merely an observation of fact. Here, let me help you: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/ignorant?q=ignorant ]
HAVND, 'anonymous', you verbose, meandering, misattributing weak fart. :-)
That, is called a straw man argument.
Assange has been accused of serious sexual assault, and would probably have been charged in any EU country. He would be tried in Sweden, not exactly a country well known for either a corrupt judicial system or brutal prisons. Assange fears extradition to the US, but Swedish law expressly prohibits extradition on charges that may result in a death penalty.
Hardly equivalent to being gay in Uganda.
"That, is called a straw man argument.
Assange has been accused of serious sexual assault, and would probably have been charged in any EU country. He would be tried in Sweden, not exactly a country well known for either a corrupt judicial system or brutal prisons. Assange fears extradition to the US, but Swedish law expressly prohibits extradition on charges that may result in a death penalty.
Hardly equivalent to being gay in Uganda."
Plus one more very important component; unlike rape homosexuality  is a self regarding behaviour + consenting adults (unless it is homosexual rape), whereas rape is non consensual and other regarding.
 The work of people like Gunther Dörner have made it abundantly clear that homosexuality has a very strong biological component, as evidenced by the similarities between brain structures in gay males and women, e.g. a nucleus in the anterior hypothalamus is enlarged in each. It's very easy to google if your interlocutor feels able.
"In some countries being gay is still a criminal offence punishable by death. Are you suggesting that if a homosexual sought refuge in a British embassy in one of these counntries then he should be denied help and thrown back out onto the street?"
That's pretty much what happens, yes. True story. Go commit adultery in the Gulf, and go running to a random embassy and see what happens to you.
The Vienna Convention is about *diplomacy* which means respecting the laws of the country that you are in. It explicitly prohibits diplomatic staff from interfering with the domestic affairs of the host nation. Them's the rules. Ecuador are breaking them, and then whining about "International Law" in a hypocritical manner.
@Scorchio! - you may wish to brush up on your legal knowledge.
1) Due process has not been followed by Sweden. For example, all victims/witnesses are required to be interviewed separately when a complaint is made. The 2 women were interviewed jointly.
Also, Assange made himself available for interview when he was in Sweden, but the prosecutor didn't take him up on the offer. Ask any Swedish lawyer, they'll tell you that it is extremely strange, to the extent of improper behaviour by the prosecutor to ignore his offer during the preliminary investigations.
There are many more examples of procedure being abused.
2) The treaty with the EU and the treaty with the USA that Sweden holds are of the same legal standing in Sweden, so basically it allows Sweden to choose what they want to do - meaning they can ignore the EU rules if they so desire. The only outcome of them ignoring the EU rules, or the UKs desires is a bit of a diplomatic huffing.
3) See point 2. As Sweden has already broken EU rules in the last decade as they allowed rendition through Sweden for the USA, this doesn't hold water.
4) The Vienna Convention trumps local/national laws when it comes to this sort of thing. They have plainly stated that he is willing to go to Sweden with assurances, or be interviewed here. Threatening a diplomatic mission with a raid is a significant and dangerous thing to do. Action of that form would basically undermine British missions worldwide. Even the Soviets didn't invade embassies. Or the Nazis!
5) This has everything to do with the USA. When you know you have the US government trying to do everything they can to prosecute you, and have people in that government calling you a terrorist and calling for your assassination, you'd be hiding too.
"@ localzuk 08:04
"4) ...... Or the Nazis!"
Godwins Law applies. Sorry you lose."
Sadly no. Moreover, it is not even a 'law', and even then we'd have to ascertain whether it is legislative or so called 'natural'. 'Natural' laws are often 'broken', not because someone has been naughty, but because the people who articulated them did so from the basis of what was an inadequate theory. Like 'ignorant' 'Inadequate' is not pejorative, rather an observation.
Next, what Godwin observed is that the longer an online exchange persists the probability that Nazis will be mentioned increases. It's not something that ends a conversation, neener, or even a 'law', because people can quite clearly continue to mention them. It's a bug from Usenet that is now stuck in the minds of Web 2.0 users with little internet pedigree.
"Also, Assange made himself available for interview when he was in Sweden, but the prosecutor didn't take him up on the offer. Ask any Swedish lawyer, they'll tell you that it is extremely strange, to the extent of improper behaviour by the prosecutor to ignore his offer during the preliminary investigations."
Personally, I found fleeing to Sweden as soon as he heard they wanted to interview him a fairly novel interpretation of "making himself available"..
"Threatening a diplomatic mission with a raid is a significant and dangerous thing to do"
That is a matter of interpretation - a raid suggests illegal activity, which it would not be under UK law if they were notified that diplomatic privileges were withdrawn. The UK has laws in place that allow it to withdraw diplomatic privileges when they are abused (the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher from the confines of the Libyan embassy created that law) - this means that the Vienna conventions are not a get-out-of-jail card for breaking UK laws. Given that Ecuador is now helping a criminal to evade justice (that's just UK law) there is a justification for invoking that law.
" Action of that form would basically undermine British missions worldwide.
Actually, the reverse is true. Allowing a criminal to evade justice by fleeing into the nearest embassy would make a mockery of UK law enforcement and make it appear the UK was weak on crime. Ain't gonna happen - if anything, he now has UK law against him as well.
I actually know what Assange will do next: he'll start a cult. There are so many believers out there that he just needs to don a fluorescently coloured robe and sandals, then start a religion and state any kind of BS which will be taken as gospel. He can then wail loudly when the authorities haul him off that his religious freedoms are impaired, and plenty of foaming-at-the-mouth acolytes will take to the street. You heard it here first.
"1) Due process has not been followed by Sweden. For example, all victims/witnesses are required to be interviewed separately when a complaint is made. The 2 women were interviewed jointly.
Also, Assange made himself available for interview when he was in Sweden, but the prosecutor didn't take him up on the offer. Ask any Swedish lawyer, they'll tell you that it is extremely strange, to the extent of improper behaviour by the prosecutor to ignore his offer during the preliminary investigations.
There are many more examples of procedure being abused."
So true, there were many more examples of procedure being abused. FFS, lets take a look at them since you seem to have a selective memory.
You do remember that Assange was granted an appeal, the first appeal to discuss the merits of the EAW, right?
In this trial, two of Assange's expert witnesses relied on testimony from Assange's Swedish defense council, when he said that the Prosecutor made no attempts to try and bring Assange in for questioning...
You do remember that, right?
Do you also remember that when under cross examination by the Swedish prosecutor, he wouldn't perjure himself and admitted that the Prosecutor send him text messages since he was dodging her calls? The point is that Assange was wanted for questioning and that the lawyer stalled the process allowing Assange to sneak out of the country?
So please get your facts straight? I can point to half a dozen news stories, along with the court documents from both sides of the case along with news reports from Sweden that the defense attorney faced reprimands over this.
After the cross, both expert witnesses who relied on the statements made by the defense attorney as a matter of fact, changed their expert opinions.
"Ahah! 'I see what you did there'; you reversed the protocol. No, you are plain wrong;"
It seems to me this is the key. As you say, Assange faces serious allegations in Sweden. I think he should face them. I hope the UK government does as well. So why can't they make a more committed statement? Surely all they need to do is promise that they will not give Sweden permission to extradite Assange to the USA, and that if he is cleared of charges, or after serving any sentence if found guilty, then he be free to leave Sweden. Perhaps there is some legal difficulty in imposing such requirements, but if so, why hasn't the government explained these.
It almost looks like the UK government don't want him to go to Sweden. (How's that more a conspiracy theory?)
" Surely all they need to do is promise that they will not give Sweden permission to extradite Assange to the USA, and that if he is cleared of charges, or after serving any sentence if found guilty, then he be free to leave Sweden".
This has often been asserted, but it's not true. For Assange to be legally extradited to the USA, there to face a proper legal trial where his legal rights are respected... is one possible scenario. Others include:
1. Assange is extradited to the USA, where (like Bradley Manning) he is kept in solitary confinement, naked and freezing, for an arbitrary number of years. One day he might (or might not) get a trial, die, or go insane. Or he might just die of old age.
2. The Americans seize Assange in Sweden by brute force, as they have often done in countries such as Italy and Sweden itself. Perhaps they would be reluctant to infringe the sovereignty of the UK so casually and disrespectfully - not because they have any respect for us, but because the UK is such a useful glove puppet.
3. The Swedish court "somehow" finds Assange guilty of some appalling crime (possible on the books since the 8th century but never applied nowadays) that forces them to imprison him in Sweden until he dies of old age. The same kind of thing the Americans did to Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.
There are other scenarios, but those will do for now.
Sorry to burst your bubble....
1. The Swedish legal system is different than the UK. He is expected to be interviewed and charged. He ran away when they served notice that they wished to interview him. If you ran away from a police interview you would expect that the police would come arrest you. The EAW does just that and it has been proved to be valid to the highest court in the land.
2. & 3. How can country make a binding statement that he won't be extradited until such a request comes along? Saying you will never extradite is giving him free hand to break every US law there is. If you are worried that he might face cruel or unusual punishment, or even the death penalty for crimes as yet unspecified, the ECHR gives him a cast-iron guarantee and protection. Even more so if he is in Sweden
4. It's not violating international law if the Ecuadorian Mission no longer has diplomatic status. Under English law, we can rescind diplomatic status after 7 days notice and the Vienna Convention no longer would apply.
5. The US Grand Jury is anything but secret. It's a public hearing constituting a jury of citizens that determines if there is a case to be answered. If the Grand Jury decides there is no case, the accused person does not face trail on any charges. If the Grand Jury determines there is a case to answer, the accused proceeds to be indicted and faces a full trial to determine his guilt or innocence. So the Grand Jury system is a trip wire used to prevent malicious or state sponsored accusations against individuals.
Do you not see the irony that he has chosen to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian Mission? Ecuador does not exactly encourage freedom of speech of it's citizens or people: http://www.hrw.org/americas/ecuador
"2. & 3. How can country make a binding statement that he won't be extradited until such a request comes along? Saying you will never extradite is giving him free hand to break every US law there is."
Since when does US law apply in non-US countries?
Besides; Its not as if the rest of the world doesn't have any laws which prevent its citizens from 'attacking' other countries. For example; would Assange use his laptop to start breaking into the computer systems of the Pentagon then that would also be a violation against Swiss law for which he can be prosecuted as well.
Sorry to burst *YOUR* bubble (head)
"He ran away when they served notice that they wished to interview him. If you ran away from a police interview you would expect that the police would come arrest you. " -- Factually incorrect, you must remember that this case has been opened twice, in the first instance Assange asked if the prosecutor if he could leave Sweden, to which the answer was yes. Another prosecutor takes up the reigns and issues an international arrest warrant for Assange *After* he had left Sweden, which he had been told that he was allowed to do.
You're timing is wrong. They told Assange's lawyer they did want to interview him after all, while he was still in their country. That's when he fled. This is in the court reports; his lawyer tried to deny it at first, but eventually admitted it after seeing the phone records.
Personally I think, knowing that he had already absconded once, the UK court should never have granted him bail. Regardless, the undeniable fact that he did jump bail surely makes it more credible that he also fled the first time? It's what he does.
I really don't get why so many people are so eager to defend him.
I think you'll find the Swedish authorities have not been able to prove he knew about being asked in for questioning at the time he 'fled'. They had definitely told his lawyer, of that there's no doubt. However, they have been unable to prove the lawyer actually spoke to him. If he left the country without speaking with his lawyer, he did not 'flee' as he did not know they wanted to speak with him. Of course, there's an element of what actually happened and what can be proved, but as with all things criminal, only what can be proved matters.
So, all in all, nobody can prove he 'fled' at all as nobody can prove his lawyer spoke with him.
The problems are simple when you think it through.
Us Brits can't remove diplomatic status to get at a wanted person, that would open up countries with poor human rights records to remove the diplomatic status of our embassies to get at human rights activists who they have branded as criminals. If the Pussy Dolls (or w/e they are called) ran into an embassy in Russia and claimed political asylum (which we granted) the Russians would have the context of the British removing the status to go into the embassy and remove the Dolls and lock them up, so it really is a path we cannot go down. It may also open up *any* embassy from any nation with the British being held up as the reason why, as soon as one country breaks the rules, everyone will.
The British/Swedish cannot guarantee that he won't be passed on to a third country because they have no legal right to do so. If a country sends a request for extradition then the host country has a legal obligation to investigate the request, they can't pick and choose which requests to ignore, a government can't break the law, in the UK the government makes the laws but it's up to the courts to interpret the law, the government and judiciary as separate, when they are not separate you get major issues.
> Us Brits can't remove diplomatic status to get at a wanted person
Yes we can.
> If the Pussy Dolls (or w/e they are called) ran into an embassy in Russia and claimed political asylum (which we granted)
The embassy would have thrown them out.
Any country can remove the diplomatic status of our Embassy whenever they want. They usually give a warning and tell you to leave the country with X amount of days.
In November last year the British shut down the Iranian Embassy with immediate effect so closing foreign embassies is not unprecedented.
"Us Brits can't remove diplomatic status to get at a wanted person,"
Yes, we can. The law is already in place to do exactly that. And host nations can close ANY embassy at any time they like. Embassies are GUESTS. They do not have a god-given right to be there.
" that would open up countries with poor human rights records to remove the diplomatic status of our embassies to get at human rights activists who they have branded as criminals."
Where? What human rights activists are currently hiding in our embassies? The truth is that embassies do all they can to get such people out of the door ASAP (look at the recent China episode) because not doing so in in breach of the Vienna Convention and causes diplomatic problems... which is the very thing that embassies and diplomats exist to do the opposite of.
" It may also open up *any* embassy from any nation with the British being held up as the reason why, as soon as one country breaks the rules, everyone will."
I must have been imagining the forced closure of the Swedish embassy in Belarus, then? And I seem to recall Russia closing down British consular offices a couple of years ago. Not embassies granted, but it was almost the same thing. I hate to burst the bubble, but it happens. Please just Google it if you don't believe it.
In short, the answers to points 2, 3 and 5 are:
Because legal systems don't comment on hypotheticals. Any extradition attempt, if it existed, would be heard on its own merits and not whatever Assange thinks it might say. And as pointed out, any US attempt at extradition would be requested through Sweden and subsequently the UK.
If it were all about getting him to the US, why on earth would they not have just asked the UK while Assange was in custody?
"5) USGov won't make statement thay they will not attempt to extradite the idiot, instead they have a secret 'Grand Jury' to work out how to charge him with espionage, even though he isn't a) a US citizen and b) wasn't caught spying in the USA for a foreign power. "
I suggest you take a lesson in the US judicial system before you go on a tirade.
A grand jury is made up of everyday citizens. Its purpose is to determine if there is enough valid evidence to bring charges. The grand jury is the litmus test to see if the evidence has enough validity to go forward. Its no wonder you don't respect how the Swedes do things and the differences in their legal system. You don't understand even how the American Legal System works and its based on English Law.
At the same time, its simply amazing that you know exactly what the US Government intends to charge Assange with.
But you also forgot a few facts.
1) The British Government is on the hook for Assange. Yup. It has nothing to do with the US, but the treaty they signed and are obligated to honor to uphold the EAW and be a member of the EU.
2) The Brits made a mistake. After Assange lost his third attempt of an appeal, He should have had his bail revoked and gone directly to jail until he is put on a plane to Sweden. He fled jurisdiction once, the odds were that he would do it again.
3) Ecuador doesn't have any legal grounds to grant asylum. In fact, if challenged, the asylum doesn't hold up under international law since Assange only faced extradition to Sweden for a criminal charge of rape.
4) The US haven't charged Assange with anything, Yet. Note that Assange mentions Manning as a way to attempt to tie his charges of committing RAPE to something else. Also as an attempt to give a shout out to his alleged source while he did nothing to protect him or his other Swiss source, both of whom rot in jails, all at the expense of Assange's ego.
I guess the public education system in Britain is just as bad as it is here in the US. Definitely the decline of the Western Civilization as we know it.
It shouldn't be too difficult . If this was a spy novel, they'd shove him in a large box labelled 'diplomatic bag' in the back of an Embassy van (with some make-up, dyed hair, and a diplomatic passport in a new name) and go for a nice long drive down the M4 (and possibly switch vans in a dark tunnel somewhere) and then take the ferry from Fishguard to Ireland, then hop on a plane to somewhere where he can get a direct flight to South America.
And if need be send a few empty test vans out with suspicious large boxes first, just to tempt the Theresa May's little helpers into violating diplomatic immunity and searching them.
"And if need be send a few empty test vans out with suspicious large boxes first, just to tempt the Theresa May's little helpers into violating diplomatic immunity and searching them."
They could be fairly legitimately stopped. Diplomatic Bags are for diplomatic *documents*, as stated in Convention.
As for getting Assange out of the country... do you really think he could go that long without having to open his fat gob and whore himself to the media at some point?
I hate to tell you this (no, I don't, I'm delighted to be able to correct you) but one of the core beliefs of the Quakers is "Speak truth to power". Whatever Assange's faults may be, Wikileaks has helped to expose just what an unpleasant country the United States is in its dealings with the rest of the world. I am not saying the UK, France or China (say) are any better, merely pointing out that he has helped to puncture the American hypocrisy balloon. George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, would probably approve.
Witch hunts are bad not because there aren't any witches, but because of collateral damage - the assumption of guilt until proven innocent (and often no genuine way of proving innocence).
Hence we use the term for things that really exist.. murderers, rapists, communists, etc. because it's a bad thing.. we have a legal system for these things, and in a civilised society we should be using them so that when the innocent are accused they are protected*
* Not that the system is perfect, but it's a damned sight better than the alternatives.
There's always the possibility that this 18 month old circus is just a highly publicized and very serious digital deterrent, designed to keep other low level government employees from pulling a Manning/Assange.
No, they are not concerned about the 250,000 cables at Wikileaks now. Yes, they are concerned about what's in the pipe line right now. Something top secret and so explosive it could bring down on our heads everything we hold precious about civilization.
I think I know what it is, but it is far too pessimistic to yammer about on a forum. And, believe me, you are much better off not knowing. I've already said too much.
Is this not about the charges for alleged rape? He did that speech yesterday about ending the witch hunt and all this other pap as Wiki-leaks should be kept free when really the only reason Sweden want him is because he is supposed to have had a 'struggle snuggle' with someone over there. It baffles me how people are so fast to either decide its a US conspiracy to get him out so they can arrest him. Or that if he is so innocent he wont just stand in front of a Swedish court with his head high and say prove it. The speech about the witch hunt and free all the other wiki-leaks founders / employees is irrelevant at this stage. He should just grow a pair or stop shoving it in randoms without their permission.
Mr Arseange may well be an encrypted crusader fighting for the truth and downtrodden everywhere, violating the secrecy of evil governments that abuse their citizens and partners; but two downtrodden women in Sweden have the right to know that the law will fight for them and expose the truth of whether they were or were not violated though raped/assault.
Rape ruins the lives of millions of women, and is the most common abuse of power: Mr Arseange should reflect on the damage he does to his mission, and comply with those laws created to protect individuals from abuse by the powerful. We like to say “the innocent have nothing to fear”, but with burden of proof in a just society he might well “get off” even if he’s guilty.
Mr Arseange is right in one respect though, his life (as a convicted rapist) would be ruined.. the truth’s like that.. tough.
Yep, you blow away the smoke, hyperbole, and wingnut theories, and that's what you're left with: a bail-jumping [alledged] sex offender. It's f*cking Sweden, for chrisskes, one of the most socially responsible, democratic and liberal countries in the world.
It's not like he's being extradited to an oppressive regime which crushes dissent on a regular basis. Like, oooh, Ecuador, for example...
Sweden....'one of the most socially responsible, democratic and liberal countries in the world'.
Yep. All of the above. So liberal that they kept steralising mentally ill people (and those with learning disabilities etc.) into the 70s and even early 80s. Don't think Sweden is above criticism.....they're not. They've done some pretty terrible things very recently as the above shows, so they're no better than any other western country.
1. "Very recently". Bollocks, that's thirty years ago. The BBC was still showing the Black and White Minstrel Show until 1978, which gives you an idea of how things have moved on.
2. Reporters Without Borders think Sweden has the 12th most free press in the world. Ecuador is 104th, just below Chad. That's the 2011 list, which does qualify as "very recently". Nice bedfelllows Julian has picked.
"1. "Very recently". Bollocks, that's thirty years ago. The BBC was still showing the Black and White Minstrel Show until 1978, which gives you an idea of how things have moved on.
2. Reporters Without Borders think Sweden has the 12th most free press in the world. Ecuador is 104th, just below Chad. That's the 2011 list, which does qualify as "very recently". Nice bedfelllows Julian has picked."
OK. You think 30 years is a long time. Fair enough. Let's try something right up to date then.....
Sweden currently (as of early 2012) forces anyone transgender to be steralised!! They're just trying to repeal it now. Is that really the type of liberal, blah, blah, blah country we're talking about? Seems rather barbaric to me. Why should transgender people be steralised simply because of what they are? Most other countries (certainly decent ones) have no repealed all such laws, although a few do exist.
"Why should transgender people be steralised simply because of what they are?"
This question, while a complete and utter tangent, intrigues me.
Firstly, I would appreciate a citation of the appropriate legislation rather than a simple assertion.
Secondly, sterilisation is rather part and parcel of the normal treatment of the transgendered. Once a transgendered man has taken enough testosterone to knock their ovaries for six, or a transgendered woman has taken enough oestrogen to have noticeable effects on her body then they're effectively sterile anyway. This is before any surgical intervention, such as hysterectomy or orchidectomy, is taken, after which sterility is pretty much guaranteed. Where does governmental coercion come in?
This isn't really at a tangent as people were claiming Sweden was such a liberal etc. country and therefore saying what could anyone have to fear from them.........
However, the citation is below and clearly says that anyone seeking transgender surgery etc. must be sterialised beforehand. There are various other locations as well, just look up sweden, forced and steralisation.
"However, the citation is below and clearly says that anyone seeking transgender surgery etc. must be sterialised beforehand. There are various other locations as well, just look up sweden, forced and steralisation.
First of all this is not a citation as is expected in the legal/academic sense. It is a website run by people with issues to exploit.
Second, the crucial paragraph:
"Members of the Swedish government have announced they will not change the current law requesting transgender people to undergo sterilisation."
Request does not equal force so, even using a hooky site, you have failed miserably.
"Sweden currently (as of early 2012) forces anyone transgender to be steralised!!"
Citation? The onus is on you to produce supporting data; as you search for them remember that state treatment of people, including forcible sterilisation, is on the EU no-no list, and causes hissing and spitting matches in the EU.
"Mr Arseange may well be an encrypted crusader fighting for the truth and downtrodden everywhere, violating the secrecy of evil governments..."
If he were, he'd go to Sweden and see if he's extradited; martyring himself to show that there really was a massive conspiracy and showing the US for what they are.
He ain't. That just makes him a snivelling littlw shit, trying to obfuscate the issue and get away with rape and bail jumping.
Re extradition to a third country: Because they can't.
Take a fictitious example: In the future, while Assange is serving time in a Swedish jail for rape, a third comes along with incontrovertible evidence that he murdered somebody while travelling through that place. What then? Giving cast iron guarantees not to extradite people on charges that have not been laid is child's speak.
Re: uphold EU rules? What EU rules? The EU has nothing to do with this.
The European Union has no legal structure that applies. If however, you mean the European Convention on Human Rights, as upheld by the European Court, that's different. The Swedes do not need to make any undertaking as it is enshrined in The ECHR and local laws. He cannot be extradited from any signatory country to the ECHR to any country where capital punishment is a possibility. He lawyers would jump on it like a ton of bricks and would win.....and he knows it. So getting an undertaking means nothing - it's already there, in law.
"He cannot be extradited from any signatory country to the ECHR to any country where capital punishment is a possibility."
So McKinnon can't be extradited to the US then...nice to know.
An if the US say "we won't kill him - just give him 60 years in jail" what then?
"He cannot be extradited from any signatory country to the ECHR to any country where capital punishment is a possibility."
This is totally wrong. All the country has to do is guarantee not to execute the person. So, the fact the country has capital punishment is not relevant. They simply have to agree not to use it against the person. Of course, in practical terms, this is a bit irrelevant. I don't know what the difference is between being executed and jail terms of 50 years upwards. Amounts to the same if you ask me, so the ECHR seems somewhat pointless in this regard. Indeed, some would argue that 50 years in prison is worse than execution.
" "He cannot be extradited from any signatory country to the ECHR to any country where capital punishment is a possibility."
So McKinnon can't be extradited to the US then...nice to know."
McKinnon will not be subject to those rules, which are mostly state rules, and only a few states use judicial murder as a 'punishment'.
"He cannot be extradited from any signatory country to the ECHR to any country where capital punishment is a possibility." -- well, that's half-right. He cannot be legally extradited to any hanging country.
But if he was illegally extradited, he would not be the first or the last .....
Question: Why haven't the US authorities tried to pick him up in the UK? Our government is even more likely than the Swedes to bend over for the Americans.
Question: Why haven't the US authorities tried to pick him up in the UK? Our government is even more likely than the Swedes to bend over for the Americans.
I really wish people would stop pointing this out, since it brings the entire Assange circus crashing to the ground. Can't somebody at least try to pretend the US have asked ?
"Question: Why haven't the US authorities tried to pick him up in the UK? Our government is even more likely than the Swedes to bend over for the Americans."
That would mean we stood up to the USians in the last 72 years, which, clearly, has not yet been the case - Blighty simply is an inflatable sex toy to the US.
Besides, I think since they cannot really trial him in a court in the US as they have absolutely no ground to stand on, they wanna kidnap him Guantanamo-style ...
"That would mean we stood up to the USians in the last 72 years, which, clearly, has not yet been the case - Blighty simply is an inflatable sex toy to the US.".
...and people claim that history is still taught in the UK: Harold Wilson refused to participate in Vietnam to both US and Australian ire. One of the few good things he did, along with announcing the end of (most) rationing, in 1953.
...if Assange really did care about the future of Wikileaks, he could always hand over the reins to someone else and distance himself from the initiative until this whole debacle has been resolved. I have a feeling that his ego might not necessarily allow that to happen. So WL continues to be mired in the murky morass that is Assange's personal life. Personally I would think that if the State (choose whichever one you like best) wanted to tar and feather him they should have just planted some kiddie porn on his machine - this normally ensures enough hysteria to make someone disappear for good (unless that person is Gary Glitter of course).
Always gets me when people group Bradley Manning and Assange.
Bradley Manning signed the US equivalent of the official secrets acts and swore an oath to his country. He therefore should be prosecuted if he has revealed state secrets. Having said that, I do believe he has been grossly mis-treated while is custody.
Julian Assange published the stolen documents - he is not a US citizen and has not signed any oath to that country and therefore should not be subject to criminal charges - Bradley Manning committed the crime of stealing the documents. The most he could be pinned with is paying Manning to steal the documents - even then, I don't believe Manning was financially motivated.
Having said all the above - why won't the sniveling, self publicizing weasel have the guts to face up to his crimes. The ECHR prevents Sweden from extraditing him, unless he is to face a fair trial under the US justice system. I don't see the Us shooting themselves in the foot by trying to place him somewhere like Guantanamo (although their ability to harm their own appendages never ceases to amaze me). If they tried, I don't see either the UK or Swedish government allowing extradition - the backlash from their own people would be too strong - quite apart from the kicking from the ECHR.
have just given him a "nudge" off the balcony?
Should work - he's "outside" the UK so no worries about Health & Safety :). The problem is his landing, as he'd return to UK territory at that instant you'll have polluted the environment as he' not reputed to be all that focused on personal hygiene (having said that, I don't know if that is really true or an attempt to "smear" him, if you pardon the unintentional pun).
America was founded on fundamental religion, it's just that the religion in question told them to 'treat their slaves well' - which is implies slavery is A-OK.
If you want to watch somebody squirm - next time you have a pair of bible bashers at the door, ask them to explain Ephesians 6:9 or Colossians 4:1 - especially if either of them are black.
The Puritants (not Quakers) who left England to found colonies in the Americas did so because they wanted the freedom to oppressively force other people to live their lives how they told them to. Is /that/ what Assange is called on the USA to do? Because they seem to be doing quite well on their own without any prompting.
The Quakers who came along to America later were actually hounded out of town by the Puritans, resulting in William Penn obtaining a charter to found Pensylvania, founded on the Quaker principles of letting people live their own lives without forcing your own values on other people.
Correct. And they were more than hounded out of town: some of them were executed for being Quakers.
The United States was, quite simply, founded by, mostly, some pretty ghastly people. Their descendants are still around the place, telling my nephews they will go to Hell for being Jewish, passing laws against the teaching of evolution, shooting staff at abortion clinics and demanding the freedom of speech to preach intolerance and hatred.
The amazing thing is that the sensible Americans are a majority, but never seem able to get their act together and send the present day Pilgrim Fathers off to establish a colony somewhere else - Antarctica?
We were minding our own business bothering nobody, then the Romans, Vikings and Normans totally remade the nation into a world-beater.
So when you really get down to it.... All of this nastiness falls on Italy and Sweden's feet.
Or we could just say that the US and Australia are grown up now and can take responsibilty for themselves :)
Sweden? My ancestors came here from Norway. And I can't answer all the questions in the British Citizenship Test, so all that history and geography at school, not to mention what they tried to teach me at university, was obviously wasted.
I'm just a teensy bit worried I'm going to be sent back where I came from. Probably north of the Arctic Circle.
"Britain heal thy self. ;-)"
Oh but we did! We sent many of our convicts to the US! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_transportation
"Having said that... didn't they dump all of their criminals in Australia too?"
You see? "That's what I'm talkin' about!" ;-)
Hey, about the rent you owe us....... :-)
How will he get to Ecuador? Basically he won't.
Assange doesn't have any real option of escape now.
Diplomatic bag/crate? Just hold it up at some point on its journey without opening it, eventually he will have to leave it to attend his "biological needs".
The Helicopter option you mentioned will pass through UK airspace and could easily be forced to land on UK soil.
Assange is effectively being sought by two different countries:-
Sweden. This is for something they call rape, but which most other countries don't even acknowledge as a crime. However, it is a crime in Sweden, so let's treat it as such. Many on here are saying its a 'serious' offence. Interestingly, in normal circumstances, it's so serious in Sweden that it's normally dealt with as a fine. Now, in Assanges case, it might be more due to the fuss and efforts getting him back etc. However, if you judge it by the normal penalty, it's far from serious. Secondly, there are grave doubts about Sweden following due process (similar to NZ under USA duress) and also about the credability to the victims. However, that's for a court to decide. If extradition is sought, it's normally for serious crimes only, usually resulting in prison time (not normally applicable in this case). So, extradition seems a bit strong.
USA. Depending on who speaks last, he's wanted for just about any crime that fits the general title of 'p**sing off Uncle Sam'. Terrorism, treason, you name it, they've all been thrown around. The fact that he didn't commit the crime (if he's even guilty of one) in the USA is besides the point there. They've even got people trying to find crimes to lay against him, a secret grand jury and even more trying to create laws against him. Interestingly, Britain also has laws protecting whistleblowers. General for cases involving business, but not necessarily. They are supposed to protect people that expose criminal behaviour. So, if his leaks have exposed criminal behaviour (and I think it's fair to say some did), then he should be protected according to British law. If his leaks didn't expose anything criminal (and some say they exposed nothing), then why are the USA trying to get their hands on him so much?
All in all, it doesn't really make much sense. Why are the Swedish trying so hard to get him back on something that is considered a relatively trivial matter? The charge is not going to be rape in the British sense of the word. The victims have changed their story several times and are now suggesting they didn't consent, but not originally. Their credability seems dubious at best. The Swedish authorities actions are also dubious. They haven't followed procedure at times, told him he had nothing to answer and then went after him. Odd to say the least. The USA, well enough said. That is simple persecution. Bradley Manning may have committed a crime of treason in the USA, but Assange has not broken UK or Swedish law with his leaks. So, what's going on there.
If you look at it all, it's beginning to look like everyone is trying too hard to get him and that is effectively persecution. Persecution is treating someone differently and they seem to be treating him differently.
Sweden has the extradition agreement with the rest of Europe (EAW) and an extradition agreement with the USA. Neither has priority over the other. So, they can get someone using an EAW and then send them to the USA under the other WITHOUT asking for the UKs permission. The only repercussion will be countries thinking twice about extraditing to them under EAW as they have broken it once. Whilst the EAW REQUIRES them to seek the UKs permission, that doesn't mean they will. Also, who's to say the UK won't say yes?
Anonymous Coward 101.
""Sweden. This is for something they call rape, but which most other countries don't even acknowledge as a crime."
10 million words, and totally wrong from the outset."
Most countries (I believe nobody else does) don't have the equivalent crime. The Swedes sort of call it rape, but given that it doesn't exist elsewhere, it's a bit difficult to translate directly.
Rather than just insult, why don't you say what's wrong with the comment. That's the basis of discussion.
"Sweden. This is for something they call rape, but which most other countries don't even acknowledge as a crime. However, it is a crime in Sweden, so let's treat it as such."
No, no. Let's see what the UK courts have said on the matter ( http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/assange-summary.pdf ), rather than attaching any value to your views:
"The Court considered the issue of dual criminality in relation to Offences 1 - 3 and ruled that dual criminality was satisfied in each. (paras 70 - 103)
The Court rejected Mr Assange’s contention that under the law of England and Wales consent to sexual intercourse on condition a condom was used was remained consent to sexual intercourse even if a condom was not used or removed. (paras 86-91)
The Court considered the issue of Offence 4 and ruled that the conduct described in the EAW was fairly and accurately reported. The President of the Queen's Bench Division concluded:
"It is quite clear that the gravamen of the offence described is that Mr Assange had sexual intercourse with her without a condom and that she had only been prepared to consent to sexual intercourse with a condom. The description of the conduct makes clear that he consummated sexual intercourse when she was asleep and that she had insisted upon him wearing a condom. ...... it is difficult to see how a person could reasonably have believed in consent if the complaint alleges a state of sleep or half sleep, and secondly it avers that consent would not have been given without a condom. There is nothing in the statement from which it could be inferred that he reasonably expected that she would have consented to sex without a condom." (para 124)
The court went on to say:
"It is clear that the allegation is that he had sexual intercourse with her when she was not in a position to consent and so he could not have had any reasonable belief that she did." (para 126)
The Court ruled that Mr Assange's objections raised in relation to Offence 4 fail. (paras 104 - 127)"
"Sweden. This is for something they call rape, "
I stopped reading about here. The rest might even have been valid. Who knows.
Just because you don't agree with another country's laws, it doesn't mean that they don't count.
Especially when a guest in that country.
You also missed 3) UK: For bail jumping. I don't think we can argue about his innocence there. Yay: We agree!
from the site : http://www.thelocal.se/search.php?keywordSearch=assange
"Swedish police reports filled with graphic details of the allegations leaked onto the Internet last week.
The police documents, viewed by AFP, contain the statement of the alleged rape victim alleging that Assange forced himself on her, without wearing a condom, while she was asleep.
The woman, identified only as Miss W, said she had had consensual sex with Assange earlier in the evening and had then fallen asleep with him, only "to wake up because he has forced himself inside of her," the report said.
"'She asked immediately: are you wearing anything?' and he answered 'you'," it added. "She told him 'You better not have HIV,' and he answered 'Of course not.'"
After that, Miss W. [b]allowed the intercourse to continue.[/b]
The faxed documents also include a forensic report on the condom used during a sexual encounter with Assange's other alleged victim, Miss A, who [b]accused him of having deliberately broken the prophylactic.[b]
The report says the [b]condom had not been cut with scissors or a knife.[/b]"
Neither of these women sound like they have been raped by any meaningful definition. In fact, people continuing to use the word are doing a dis-service to real rape victims everywhere.
The info above is from the police report remember.
@Sir Runcible Spoon
Indeed so. If you read the various police reports, both women effectively accept the sex was consensual, they never told him to stop or anything. One accuses him of deliberately breaking a condom, although isn't specific as to how, but as you say, no cutting implements etc. were involved according to forensics. The other continues with sex after he says he hasn't got HIV.
As I've stated earlier, this doesn't seem to constitute rape anywhere and I suspect the issue is more around how the press have attempted to explain the Swedish crime in countries where such a crime doesn't exist. They've gone for something near, but far worse, rather than something near and a little less serious. In other words, as journalists do, they've hyped the charge up for better reading. However, if you were the accused with a persecution complex, wouldn't you find that somewhat worrying? Maybe the press using sensational reporting is one of the reasons he doesn't want to go back?
He is accused of having sex with a woman while she was asleep, knowing she would not have consented had she been awake. That is considered rape in the UK. The point was addressed when the validity of the extradition request was challenged, and the British judge confirmed it. To claim otherwise is ignorance of the facts.
Personally I doubt he'll be convicted, but he still needs to return to Sweden to be exonerated.
But the police records say she did consent when awake!! Whether she would have consented when aware of not and what his belief on the status of her consent was, is irrelevant. In the UK, you have to effectively get consent before starting. This might be verbal, but could also be other things. If the person is asleep, they cannot give any consent due to being asleep and incapable of giving you a sign.
However, this is not the Swedish case. The Swedish case is that she accepted the sex was consensual until he refused to have a test after not using a condom, which she was aware of when having the sex. So, it's not really the same thing.
"Neither of these women sound like they have been raped by any meaningful definition. In fact, people continuing to use the word are doing a dis-service to real rape victims everywhere."
Sounds reasonable to me. Now it's so cut and dried, Assange will love to have his hour in court to clear his name...
Many people seem not to be aware of how the U.S. has been (re)defining terrorism over the last decade. It now includes all "acts dangerous to human life" and not just "acts" of "threads" of violence. (sources: USA PATRIOT Act and Title 18 of the United States Code).
Since the US Government has repeatedly claimed that Wikileaks publications are a major thread to not only security but also human life, it means that anti-terror regulation will be definitely in full swing by now but not telling you that is is (source: State Department legal letter to Wikileaks lawyer at November 27, 2010 : "place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals" , "place at risk on-going military operations," and "place at risk on-going cooperation between countries.")
Since Wikileaks according to US definitions can be treated as terrorist organization all actions by the government, all possible indictments, agreements, or international requests will be covert and sealed. Imprisoning and questioning of Assange will be outside normal juridical scope, like the case of Manning (not just because he was in the military). A few years ago they might have picked him up from the streets of Sweden or England but since most of those rendition secrets have leaked or are in the process of leaking that trick has been suspended for now because of potential political damages.
Assange is smart in terms of self-preservation to do whatever it takes to avoid extradition or even any remote chance to be extradited in the near future. He could not take the risk to go to Sweden over a minor offense, if it happened or not. His only protection is his celebrity status and developing further his conceptual battle against bloated government secrecy, the war on terror, and the principle of preemptive acts of aggression (the latter two being steeped in secrecy to work as well).
From his speech: "On Wednesday night, after a threat was sent to this embassy and the police descended on the building, you came out in the middle of the night to watch over it and you brought the world's eyes with you. Inside the embassy, after dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up into the building through the internal fire escape. But I knew that there would be witnesses. And that is because of you. If the UK did not throw away the Vienna Convention the other night that is because the world was watching. And the world was watching because you were watching."
If he truly believes that (a) the UK was about to raid the embassy; and (b) that we only stopped because there were more witnesses than usual: he is out of touch with reality. And if he said that without believing it, then (by definition) he's lying.
I wonder what Ecuador hopes to achieve by supporting him? They are using him to wind up the Americans, and now us. I guess it makes them look good in their local South American politics.
I suppose you live just opposite the embassy and could clearly see no police entering the building from any side at that very moment ... Ecuador have a lot to win, they are, like other American states, oppressed politically and economically from the crazy USians, who usually take the decision on who is allowed to govern which country through petro-dollars or CIA intervention.
As for the poor Swedish woman, has she taken an HIV test? Is it negative? If the answer to both questions is yes, what is all this fuss about?
By principle, you usually do not extradite people for minor offenses (especially if it is just for a fine - you send the bloke the fine, period) and you certainly do not do it if the other state is demanding extradition on a basis that does not constitute an offense in the state he is in. That the judge took a tangent and apparently re-interpreted the extradition request without taking the local Swedish case into account strikes me somewhat - IANAL, my wife is ... ;-)
I mean the Swedish chicks who happily invited Assange for a romp and then decided to "get him" upon US pressure?
No photos, interviews, Media exposure of their suffering, needing prozac to banish their nightmares?
Cant they just come forward and meet up with Julian in London?
Stinks of a setup.
"Stinks of a setup."
Yeah... totally... If I'd been raped and humiliated, I'd just be loving every column inch, photo opportunity and chance to meet my molester that I could get.
You don't think that perhaps Occam's Razor dictates that if it WERE a set-up that they'd likewise be manipulating the media in the manner you dictate because it would turn public opinion, and because they wouldn't be emotionally upset by it.
The point you are trying to illustrate by all sensible analysis results in the opposite conclusion.
The 'Ecuadorian Embassy' is allegedly a 3 bedroom flat within the building. The rest is British territory. With Assange's, also alleged, reluctance to wash and use deodorant, it must be getting a bit steamy in there. I wonder whether he realised this before he chose to hide in the embassy of this model democracy?
This whole story is pretty simple, his case was dropped & closed, then few weeks later the case was re-opened.
What is wrong with you ? Can't you smell fishy cases or what ?
Besides, the fact he engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman while she was sleeping is not the problem, the problem was, apparently, that he was not wearing a condom. One female Swedish judge dropped the case - in 99.9% of cases this means you can leave and are free - however, for some 'unknown' reason, another Swedish judge re-opened the case and wanted him for hearing. Him being Assange and all makes me paranoid.
When it comes to WikiLeaks - we elect our governments to act in OUR interests, however, a lot of information is withheld from us "for security reasons", which simply SHOULD NOT BE. Anytime they want to fuck us, they claim it on security reasons ... like H2O, nail-clippers, phones etc in planes. If you believe that shit, I invite you to leave our gene pool. Humankind will appreciate!
What is wrong with you ? Can't you smell fishy cases or what ? no, actually no.
If we (ordinary folk) go to Sweden and get carried away with a childhood fantasy about Swedish au-pair, there’s a good chance we’ll just get kicked out because “consent” pretty much puts the burden of proof on the woman (unless she’s also been beaten-up).. rape conviction rates are woeful the world-over.
Judges/prosecutors like to make examples of the rich/powerful/famous, because “doing” rich/powerful/famous people sends a deterrent message that nobody is above the law… Mr Arseange is powerful/famous and fits the profile.
"When it comes to WikiLeaks - we elect our governments to act in OUR interests, however, a lot of information is withheld from us "for security reasons", which simply SHOULD NOT BE."
Are you for real? Some information must be protected as its release can endanger lives, especially for those working in espionage, military, police, etc.
Cast your minds back to the Wikileaks release of the Afghan war logs. Afghan informants were named in the files which puts them and their families at risk of reprisals.
Some information needs to be restricted especially during war which is always won or lost on being better informed than your enemy.
gotta love the assaungites reference to it as 'not really rape! the condom just happened to break!' - thats only 1 of his alleged crimes, the more significant (to my mind, though i'm not one of his victims...) is the having sex with someone who's asleep. just because they woke up and didnt stop him (and who's to say why not? maybe they were too scared at that stage? maybe she thought she was dreaming? maybe she thought he was someone else entirely?) doesnt magically mean it isnt rape.
if i try and take someones car keys off them, and they go 'oh my god, please just take them, but dont hurt me!' it doesnt mean they've given me permission and therefore it isnt theft...
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