He could walk out and find somewhere with free WiFi.
Supporters of WikiLeaks are sounding alarms as founder Julian Assange has had his internet access cut to his Ecuadorian embassy broom cupboard. The embassy – based in Knightsbridge, London – said it revoked Assange's broadband connection after he violated a promise not to say, or tweet, anything that would harm the South …
"Someone replied to Kim Dotcom's original tweet and said that he'd configured his phone as a hotspot. Apparently Julian should look for an SSID of "cupboard boy" and a password of "hahahaha"
Made me laugh, anyway."
I would have gone with an SSID of "pasty-faced asshole" and a password of "yes,you." Seems much more intuitive.
"He could walk out and find somewhere with free WiFi."
According to press reports he has a mobile phone. No doubt he can use that for WiFi. This is likely Ecuador just pretending to care so as to maintain good UK relations. Or if he goes on the balcony likely there are public services available.
"he could end up being extradited to the United States, where he fears facing the death penalty "
Not from anywhere in the EU he doesn't. Extradition is not allowed if there is any prospect of capital punishment by the human rights act.
The UK should just end this mess by guaranteeing safe passage - say by recognising him as an Ecuadorian diplomat after he faces court for skipping bail. He would probably only get a suspended sentence anyway. According to the Sentencing Guidelines Council, jail sentences should only be used for skipping bail when there are serious aggravating factors.
@Alladin - you're correct that the arrest warrant for the rape charge was dropped in May last year with the Swedish prosecutor saying: "If he were to return to Sweden before the statute of limitation on this case expires in August 2020, the preliminary investigation could be resumed."
But I was referring to the allegations of sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, which hit the statue of limitation back in August 2015. Although less serious charges than rape, collapsing a criminal investigation into them still seems like a "serious aggravating factor" of his bail violation.
Doesn't work that way...
At the time of the EAW, the investigation and potential charges were in effect. He hadn't been charged because of a quirk in Swedish law that doesn't allow him to be charged if he's not present.
So he would have faced the charges at the time of the EAW hearings and subsequent jumping bail.
In addition, he caused harm to the Brits in terms of their EU standing along with the additional costs of police time monitoring the Embassy.
So he would probably face the full force of the law on this one.
So he would probably face the full force of the law on this one.
Indeed. If this doesn't count as the most serious violation of bail conditions legally envisionable, then what does? there's no chance he's just getting a slap on the wrist for this - he's definitely going to do time and then he is definitely going to be deported.
The UK should just end this mess by guaranteeing safe passage
They have. Straight to the nearest court to explain why he skipped bail. That said, I am in no doubt they would help him in a plane back to the Sweden he was first proclaiming to be a bastion of freedom, which he seems to confuse with a place where he can do anything he damn well pleases, screw the consequences for others.
I'm betting UK Foreign Affairs is watching all of this with amusement. There are only two parties who can end this farce, one can't do for diplomatic loss of face, the other because he'd get arrested as soon as he sticks his greasy nose out of the door. The rest of the world can just laugh at this farce, except proper asylum seekers whose last resort has been abused for avoiding the law.
However, one observation: it is quite possible that the fears about the US may turn from a frankly fanciful fiction into fact: if Assange was complicit in helping Trump (and it's clear he has), he may get sucked into the Mueller enquiry as one of the stooges of Putin - at which point he may ultimately face the extradition demands he has been pretending to exist so far.
I can't wait.
"He would probably only get a suspended sentence anyway"
Possibly, but jumping bail is contempt of court and when apprehended results in immediate imprisonment until a court can be arranged. This could be almost immediately, but might take time.
"According to the Sentencing Guidelines Council, jail sentences should only be used for skipping bail when there are serious aggravating factors."
Going on the run in such a public fashion whilst constantly thumbing your nose at the government may well be considered "serious aggravating factors"
According to press reports he has a mobile phone. No doubt he can use that for WiFi. This is likely Ecuador just pretending to care so as to maintain good UK relations.
From the statement from Ecuador:-
"Assange’s behavior, through his messages on social media, has put our good relations with the United Kingdom and the rest of states in the European Union at risk"
Apparently his comments about Spains somewhat anti democratic treatment of Catelonia annoyed the Spanish somewhat. Bear in mind these are the same people who sent in riot police in to beat up people voting in Catelonia; chances are they were equally unrestrained when screaming at Ecuador about the resident of their embassy criticising them.
This probably has more to do with maintaining Spanish relations than UK relations.
Yeah the fear of the death penalty is way overblown.
At issue though is why? Posting the leaked files would be shielded to some degree due to the Ellsberg decision back in the 70's. Even without it... it would mean fines and some prison time at most.
Then you have the potential for espionage act. That would mean that Assange assisted Manning in the actual theft. Because Manning got off light... Assange would face at most some prison time.
And yes, its true that if the US wanted him, the Death Penalty would be off the table, not that its really an option in the first place.
With respect to the UK offering safe passage... When they are done with him for jumping bail, he's on a flight to Australia. End of story.
Most like he will not get a suspended sentence since he's cost the Brits a lot of money with extra security around the embassy.
Either way... Assange is in a world of fun when he gets to Australia. They can seize his passport and then he would have a harder time leaving the country. Assuming that the US doesn't request extradition of him from the Aussies first.
Under various treaties, etc. I'm sure they can toss him to the curb since he was granted asylum. He should though be conforming to common decency regarding his hosts.
Given the comments about his phone, WiFi, etc... this sounds like a publicity stunt to get attention.. again.
He never claimed asylum
He claimed refugee status,
"There has never been an asylum agreement between Mr. Assange and Ecuador. There is no legal framework to make such sn agreement. Assange went through the stardard refugee process then applied for naturaluzation as was his right after three years."
thing is, he doesn't meet ANY of the criteria for refugee status, which is why no-one recognised it.
I agree. But why does the UK have to put with this? Why not give the twat safe passage to, well, anywhere? I don't care where he goes. Send him back to Oz, let his country sort it out. Or Ecuador. Or Russia... I don't care, just get rid of him.
It would set a dangerous precedent to not charge him with bail jumping and simply deport him. Assange himself would also not agree to charges being dropped in exchange for deportation as that would A: Stop him being a self-aggrandizing toolbag claiming persecution and B: send him back to Australia who are considered far more likely than the UK or Sweden to give him to the Americans.
Also the first whisper of him cutting a deal to leave the embassy would almost certainly see Sweden reactivate the EAW for him and force the UK to send him there for questioning.
Because the UK can't be seen to let him go any more than Ecuador can be seen to kick him out the door to the waiting coppers.
I suspect in the next year or two there will be a deliberately botched attempt to smuggle him out, he'll do his six weeks for jumping bail and will then be allowed to leave unhindered as an irrelevance.
1) We can't let people get away with skipping bail. Providing him safe passage tells every criminal "just run to an embassy if you don't want to go to jail". And he wasn't even GOING to jail...
2) Nobody cares about the Sweden stuff unless and until he's out and Sweden bother to re-file paperwork for it. That'll be AFTER he stood in a UK court and (almost certainly) has gone to prison for contempt of court. Then we literally hand him over, because we're legally obliged to if they file the right paperwork again.
3) He's not really costing us anything (any more), but it's costing the Ecuadorians a fortune in lawyers alone, I imagine.
4) He's a great leverage in trade agreements. "Oh, so I see Mr Assange is still there, running from our legal system. And you... wanted what from us precisely?" <notes down scribble on a post-it> "Well, I'll be sure to look *right* into that."
Fact is, nobody wants him, but nobody wants him to thumb his nose at them either. It's only a matter of time / stupid tweets before Ecuador tire of him and come up with some innocent arrangement which happens to end with his arrest. Then we'll convict him, shut him up for six months, and let him go. Who to and where? Literally nobody cares. If the paperwork comes through and it's legit, we honour it. If it doesn't - well that will just be funny, to be honest.
In fact the best thing for him would be to try to escape, because at least something interesting would happen. And barely a week goes by that he doesn't try to make the news anyway. One slow news week and he'll be hopping down the fire escape or something.
The alternative? I can literally see him dying of old age in the embassy, because nobody else cares enough to do anything about it. He'll be one of those QI factettes ten years afterwards, and nobody will care.
Best Alan Davies impression: "So, this guy spent 20 years locked in an embassy, to avoid bail on an arrest that never happened... what a twat..."
Best Alan Davies impression: "So, this guy spent 20 years locked in an embassy, to avoid bail on an arrest that never happened... what a twat..."
And you'd be betting your life on that? Do you know what they do to people at CIA black sites?
The guy may be a bit of a twat, but he has helped get the truth out about war crimes conducted by several government.
War crimes of which the perpetrators are still up and about, laughing all the way to the bank.
If we wanted him dead, he would be, embassy or not. Considering one of the Special Collection Services's jobs is to break into embassies and they're quite good at it, he would have had two rounds in his head, throat or chest if we wanted to harm him. He's a nobody who only the delusionally paranoid give a shit about, especially after what he did to Chelsea Manning, and irrelevance is the one thing the little pasty fuck dreads more than anything.
If we wanted him dead, he would be, embassy or not
Sounds like a bit of American patriot crotch fondling....
Yeah, probably get away with it, but if it was botched, noticed (a lot of cameras in the UK), seriously bad blow-back with a lot of reputation damage to the perpetrating country.
"If we wanted him dead, he would be, embassy or not. Considering one of the Special Collection Services's jobs is to break into embassies and they're quite good at it,"
I don't care how good you think they are, or if they even exist. There's simply no way in hell the US, or even Trump personally, would order something like that in the heart of London At least not without asking Mr Potter for a loan of his "Cloak of Invisibility". Have you seen how many cameras there are?
Or do you think, for example, the Israeli Mossad would dare to attempt something similar in a foreign embassy in Washington DC and you'd be happy with that?
"And you'd be betting your life on that? Do you know what they do to people at CIA black sites?"
If I was in Assange's position? Yeah, I'd bet my life. Better than rotting in an embassy forever.
Additionally, nobody has even BOTHERED to try to suggest he would end up in the US at all, in any way, shape or form.
It's based on an unspoken assumption that the rule of law will be subverted to extract him without formal process in the view of the world's press for... well, let's be honest, some pretty worthless news item he once dug up that - as you might notice - nobody is really up in arms about. Certainly not any more. The "news" was small-fry stuff, it really was. It's not started a war or changed a political situation or made the public demand a review... nobody really cares about it. "The truth"? Well, it was pretty boring, to be honest. I would be expecting a million times worse among modern large governments.
So, yes, in his position, I'd bet my life. Of course, that doesn't generate anywhere near as much press, once people realise that what you SAY you're going to abducted for is pretty boring. I can point out a lot more war crimes that also go un-cared-about. Rather than fuss about a prat-in-a-box, let's fix the war-crimes happening, eh? Like, let's generate some actual disgust that they happened. Because... I'm looking around... and I see nothing.
And, to be honest, I could argue that Wikileaks put more innocent people at risk by doing what they did, how they did, without caring and instead fighting to get publicity. The fact that US forces kill innocents in a "warzone" (without a formal declaration of war, which is probably worse) is hardly even news. They've bombed hospitals and all kinds quite publicly.
Not saying it's right. Not saying I condone it. Not saying people shouldn't know. Not saying the perpetrators shouldn't face investigation and action.
But Assange? He's just a prat-in-a-box, and for self-inflicted reasons.
If anything, he has helped prove that if you DO know something, whatever you do never make it public. Unless you want to spend a paranoid eternity in an embassy (Assange), a prison (Manning), or being interrogated by Russia (Snowden). He has basically SCARED OFF anyone else ever following suit, for some pretty minor stuff that we already knew in principle, just lacking the specifics, and in doing so condemned himself when he could just have not skipped bail, cleared his name, and stayed the same kind of celebrity twat but with some integrity.
Must be why the people that actually worked on the releases (Assange doesn't do any of the grunt work, he just does press releases) have traveled to the US without incident for the last 5 years.
Or why if he was so worried about US extradition, he went from Sweden (doesn't extradite for political crimes) to the UK (express treaty). And if he was worried about 'black bag squads', he wouldn't have spent some 600 days walking the exact same rural route, at the same time every single day, to report to a rural police station as his bail conditions. Fixed route, fixed time, on foot, middle of nowhere, it's a snatch-squad DREAM. And yet this massive concern only raised its head after the Supreme Court threw out his final appeal - the point where he realised 'oh sh*t, I will have to go back to Sweden'.
Same with his run from Sweden. If you're told one afternoon that the appointment next morning with the prosecutor will have you arrested and charged, you'd leave the country. So where do you go for a month or two, when you're 60 days into a 90 day schengen visa, and have to go THAT NIGHT. UK's the only choice left - as a commonwealth citizen he can enter without a visa for 180 days. Anywhere else either wouldn't land in time (australia) if there were flights available, requires a visa, or would limit him to 30 days. As a benefit, UK speaks english, and has a markedly different legal system than Sweden.
If you were afraid of the US, you'd never set foot in the UK, you'd go elsewhere in schengen, and then head back to Australia. ESpecially as a month or two earlier you'd been bigging up how you were applying for Swedish residency because they don't extradite to the US. (and yes, it's happened. in 92 the US requested extradition of a US citizen who was in Sweden. That citizen was charged with espionage, mainly because he was the ONLY CIA officer to defect to the USSR. Bear in mind, the president was Bush sr, who was the former head of the CIA and vice president when the guy defected. Sweden still said no, and let him go.
Right now, the BBC news page has the link to the Assange story just above this other story. So, the BBC quite rightly thinks the Assange story is less important that the predicament that this chap is in...
"Man has 'world's worst' super-gonorrhoea"
"Julian Assange has internet cut at Ecuadorian embassy in London"
Why, oh why, are we still talking about this idiot? Ignore him. Don’t grant him the publicity he so desperatelty whores after (oops, now the idiots at Microsoft won’t like this post. Look closely and perhaps you can tell how much I care). Let him vegetate away in the embassy, until the Ecudorians finally get sick of him and heave him out. Then slap him inside for a few months, and then bounce his ass back to Australia. Or, if they still want him, Ecudor. Or Sweden. I don’t care. Just deny him the oxygen of publicity.
Why, oh why, are we still talking about this idiot?
Really? Is that the most insightful comment you can manage?
We are talking about the Julian Assange who fronts Wikileaks, right? The organisation which published the biggest, most embarrassing, most scandalous leaks of secret US government information in history: including, inter alia, the Collateral Murder video (April 2010) the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), a quarter of a million diplomatic cables (November 2010), and the Guantánamo files (April 2011). Not to mention the Democratic National Congress and Podesta leaks, and the Russian Spy Files, The Saudi Cables, etc, etc, etc
The Julian Assange who is under criminal investigation by the US for possibly breaching their Espionage Act, and has been the subject of public calls for him to be assassinated by several senior US politicians, who was accused of sexual offences in Sweden and fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy where he has been granted political asylum? This is the Julian Assange we are talking about right?
Go on, think about it for a bit...
I'm talking about the Julian Assange who ran as fast as he could from being investigated for rape in Sweden, and ran to the UK. It should be noted that his chances of being extradited to the US went up by at least two orders of magnitude as soon as he set foot in the UK, so he was NOT running from the possibility of being extradited to the US. I'm talking about the Julian Assange who jumped bail at the thought of going back to Sweden to face the music there. I'm talking about the Julian Assange who keeps on putting himself back into the limelight as soon as it seems that he's fading from public memory.
Yes, I have thought about it for a bit.
We should deny him the oxygen of publicity. We should wait for the Ecuadorians to get tired of his antics and kick him out. We should then give him a nice fair trial for jumping bail and contempt of court, find his ass guilty because he has no defense for those actions, lock him up in one of HM Prisons for a few months, then kick his ass out of the UK, preferably to Sweden so that he can face the music there, but Australia, from where he'll be extradited to the US so fast that his feet won't touch ground, or Ecuador, where the present government will do its best to ignore him, will do fine. Just get rid of the git.
Perhaps we could have a whip-round and send him some books, here are a few suggested titles :
The Birdman of Alcatraz
The Prisoner of Zenda
The Man in The Iron Mask
The Green Mile
The Shawshank Redemption
Crime and Punishment
Any further suggestions most welcome.
Suggestions of how Assange can sneak out of the embassy reminds me of 'Allo 'Allo and the various hair-brained schemes for the British Airmen to escape...
British Airman - Julian Assange
Rene - The Ecuadorian Ambassador
Michelle "of the Résistance" - Pamela Anderson
HerrFrau Flick - Cressida Dick
Helga - Amber Rudd
Officer Crabtree - Nigel Farage
Painting of "The Fallen Madonna..." - Picture of Pamela Anderson in Baywatch swimsuit.
icon: beige raincoat
I'm uncomfortable with the hateful tone of many of the comments here.
I don't agree with a lot of Assange's decisions and I wouldn't want to have him staying in my flat. He strikes me as a bit of a narcissist with Asperger's. But he started off as a good programmer and a lot of his work at Wikileaks was very important. His fear of extradition to the US is rational.
I particulary dislike the earlier jokes about prison rape. When wider society jokes about this, it enables it. That is the case in the US which some say is the only society with more raped men than women, and a recent Howard League report shows an increase in the UK, at least 1% of prisoners here. Bear in mind all of us could make one bad decision and end up behind bars and we would want to be treated decently.
I'm not a St Julian fanbois, but I don't approve of the gloating either. I also disapprove of the expense of this case, the cost of his surveillance. It's irresponsible to extradite anyone to the US, and if Assange is willing to spend time in a British prison for skipping trial in exchange for no extradition to the US then that seems the adult solution.
I wholly approve of the gloating. He deserves it. I've no sympathy any more. He should go and face justice in Sweden, like the rest of us have to. He was the one who applied for residence there just before he got charged with rape, so he can't claim he doesn't trust their judicial system now. And he came to the UK of his own free will, which if he genuinely feared extradition to the US would have been the stupidest move going. So I don't buy that argument.
I do accept it's possible that he's paranoid enough to have an irrational fear of extradition. But it's also rather too convenient. And, by all accounts I've read, he seems to be a manipulative little shit - so I'm afraid I'm out of patience with the whole farce.
On the other hand, you're right about prison rape jokes. Not funny. Or classy. The much-missed ex-Moderatrix, lately of this parish, used to come down hard on that sort of thing.
"if Assange is willing to spend time in a British prison for skipping trial in exchange for no extradition to the US then that seems the adult solution."
While I agree with much/most of your post, contempt of court is viewed extremely seriously by the judiciary and Assange is in no position to negotiate anything.
Contempt of court is an utterly silly charge, and the maximum sentence reflects that. A month inside and a £2500 fine - I think Julian would jump for that 'punishment' compared to his current situation.
I mentioned here a couple of years ago I was thrown out of my own trial for wearing my jacket disrespectfully in court, before the court had started, and then was charged with failure to attend trial despite my best efforts to get back in. That was so damn silly that I'd have to plead guilty to contempt of court from the start if I ever end up in court again.
Anyway, I think Assange faces the more serious charge of skipping bail, but the years confined to a pokey room in an embassy with only morons for company should be taken into account.
"but the years confined to a pokey room in an embassy with only morons for company should be taken into account."
Why? He is there by choice. He didnt have to run away to the embassy and he doesnt have to stay there. He can come out anytime and face the music over his decisions. The choices are all his.
Well, there is British music which is quite wonderful music, and then there is American music which is a bit rapey.
We've heard US politicians saying he should be killed. We know there is a 'secret' Grand Jury to extradite him. We've seen how Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning have been treated. His fears are rational, even if he isn't often rational.
I reckon a month inside and a guarantee of safe conduct to a third country is the most sensible option. Let him go to Ecuador or Australia on his release, but guarantee he won't be sent to the USA. Problem solved.
@Danny 2 We know there is a 'secret' Grand Jury to extradite him
No, we don't know that, because it's gibberish.
There may or may not be a grand jury working or has worked on an indictment, and if so we know (by the fact that it's not published) that it is sealed. This is not the same as "secret".
If there is, or is work to obtain, a sealed indictment, then it will have to be unsealed before the US applies for extradition.
If Assange wants to avoid extradition to the USA, bizarrely his best option is to get out of the UK ASAP, and given his limited options, it would seem to me to be potentially possible to negotiate him being deported to Sweden, which would provide him with better protection against a US indictment than being in the UK *and* which might, theoretically, be attainable (i.e. the UK isn't going to let him walk for skipping bail, but they might be persuaded that handing him over to the Swedes is sufficient).
It would disrupt our diplomatic relations with Ecuador. Which is the whole point of having embassies in the first place. He's not worth it.
Diplomats mostly hate this sort of thing, having fugitives hiding in their embassies, because of the inconvenience for them and their staff - and the fact it pisses off their host government. So they often try to shuffle people back out of the embassy as quickly as possible - or not even let them in. Though in this case, I think their ex-President dropped them in it - while Assange was interviewing him on telly.
.. by sending him to the decrepit camps that true asylum seekers have to reside in while their applications are processes by the system instead of high level friends. I'm pretty sure that a few months sharing the life of those who had to flee everything to stay alive would either give him a proper cause to fight for, or at least realise what a schmuck he's been for abusing that system.
That is, assuming there is any hope for his character. So far, signs are not good. Hearing him talk about human rights is grating.
In the words of the Great John McAfee in the Greatest Single How To Uninstall video ever, no-one should have to use XHamster. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKgf5PaBzyg
P. S. I don't feel in the least bit sorry for Saint Jules. Not only should he have to use XHamster, he should have to use XHamster after it's been subjected to Japanese-style pixilation. Or he should only be allowed access to videos where all parties are wearing the Full Mormon Undergarment. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CqK2iKj3zjM/R13VXmDzmxI/AAAAAAAAANU/yxVu5mYJfmg/s1600/Mormon-garment.jpg
I predict that he'll bust out within 24 hours. That, or the female staff at the Embassy will go full Las Latinas Brava on him, with machetes.
The Ecuadorian statement did not specify exactly what it was that Assange said to bring about the measure
Apparently, he called the EU an empty-headed animal-food-trough wiper, would fart in their general direction, that their mother was a hamster, and their father smelt of elderberries.
"In 1940 the elected president of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, was captured by the Gestapo, at the request of Spain, delivered to them and executed. Today, German police have arrested the elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, at the request of Spain, to be extradited."
It is factual. It is certainly undiplomatic but that could be considered a virtue. Why has Germany arrested a Catalan democrat while Finland and Belgium didn't?
Spain is not good at this democracy game, they are new to it, but what is Germany's excuse?
The Germans considered that it was in their national interest to arrest Puigdemont. Perhaps there is something that Germany, or a large German company, might get from Spain if Spain were tossed a bone. Perhaps Germany looked at the way that Catalonia is breaking away from Spain and considered what might happen if certain parts of Germany got the breakaway fever. Perhaps both are true. Perhaps the Germans simply don't give a shit about Catalan independence. Perhaps there is another reason. Meanwhile, the Belgians and the Finns didn't think that it was in their national interest to arrest Catalan whatevers. At least not yet. Give it time. The Belgians in particular may have their problems with breakaway regions, too.
And St Jules really should have thought twice before making that tweet. Not only did it piss off Spain, it also got the Germans' attention just from the way it was phrased. All other Catalan politicians had best get out and stay out of Germany, or they'll be on the next plane to Madrid.
I simply cannot understand the animosity toward Assange at all.
Are we forgetting what the US did to Chelsea Manning? They tortured her ffs! Would any of *YOU* honestly risk leaving the embassy even if there was a 1% chance you would end up it Guantanamo Bay detention camp or some other NSA/CIA black site torture hole to be detained indefinitely without trial? What about the comments from US politicians who want to have him assassinated? I can't say I'd be willing to risk it regardless of how I had to avoid it. Being stuck in an embassy seems like paradise compared to that fate.
And are we forgetting what he did for all of us? IMHO Assange did the world a huge favour by exposing some extremely important things that might otherwise have remained hidden, especially the morally unacceptable behaviour of the USA. I don't know how anyone who saw those journalists being murdered could ever think that it wasn't vital that this stuff came out. It was essential that these leaks were made public and Assange had the moral compass and the courage to do it. Regardless of what he might be like personally, he is a hero.
Sadly it seems the US propaganda has been swallowed whole without question. EG The sexual charges weren't an issue in Sweden in the first place, it was briefly investigated by the police who decided that Assange did not even have a case to answer. It was only after the US applied pressure that a loop hole in Swedish law was used to resurrect the case and try him for it in another city for the same 'crime' they had already decided he wasn't guilty of. It is propaganda 101, and labelling him a sex pest, dirty, weird etc. is a nothing more than a blatant attempt to discredit him and rob him of any public support. Judging by the comments on here, this propaganda seems to have worked as intended. It is a shame that this character assassination appears to have convinced a lot of people that his personality outweighs all the good he has done.
I expect I'll be downvoted into a smoking crater for these comments, but hell someone had to say it.
Pte Manning copied very sensitive government communications and released them to 3rd part(y|ies). The individual was tried by Court Martial and found guilty on a number of charges and sentenced to 35 years imprisonment - a sentence which was later commuted to 7 years time-served.
Mr Assange is the front man for an organisation which published the information that Pte Manning supplied. He claims he fears extradition to the US where he might face the death penalty. To avoid this he has confined himself in a building in London (technically Ecuadorian territory) for more than 5 years so far.
If the person who stole the information while supposedly under military discipline got a custodial sentence then the person who published it is *not* likely to get a harsher sentence (death penalty).
Some of the *other* stuff that Mr Assange's organisation has published has certainly annoyed many more people around the world and some might see political/media advantage in hastening his death and possibly casting the blame on others. I think him going to the US would probably extend his life rather than shorten it.
Mr Assange will die - eventually. Maybe from old-age (having witnessed that recently I would not wish it on anyone) or from some form of ill-health or even by being killed. He seems to be increasing his risk of the last option.
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