The irony of this post is delicious.
That’s not the scary thing. The scary thing is that he did it to avoid being extradited to America. I sure am glad when I live in the era when this started happening :(
While he may eventually face an extradition to the US issue, what he is doing right now is avoiding extradition to Sweden, where that whole rape thing is alleged to have happened. He has consistently lost in the UK trying to block the Swedish extradition request and has now exhausted all his appeal options.
Whatever you may think about US power, I still find it hard to believe that anyone thinks Sweden is acting as a proxy here for US interests. The legal process in Sweden has been vetted at several levels and decided that Assange needs to come back to that country. At some point Assange’s claim that its just part of a bigger US conspiracy against him rings hollow.
Odd, I’ve read an awful lot (mostly BBC and The Guardian) that suggests the whole Swedish thing is being driven by the powers up high. The Swedish government appear to have no axe to grind with Assange above and beyond the rape allegations which begs the question: who is exerting the pressure on them? Wikileaks and piratebay has plenty of evidence of the US exerting pressure on the Swedish over something as relatively trivial as file sharing, so why do you find it so ludicrous for them to do so over the guy who published Wikileaks?
Considering the long history the US has in meddling in other countries’ affairs up to and including enabling the overthrowing of governments, it seems quite likely that the US can and will, should it deem it appropriate, cause Sweden to extradite Julian Assange to the US to face “justice” of some sort.
They would need, if he’s extradited by the UK, the concurrence of the UK in a further extradition.
It’s actually another layer of protection.
Frankly, though, actually reading the details of the warrant for questioning, he really does have serious questions to answer. He might have just been stupid, but screwing around when you’re a public figure is always a risk. And this stunt means he’ll get to sit in a jail for however long it takes if Ecuador refuses.
(For that matter, I’m not seeing how he’d get out of it anyway, even full-blown diplomatic immunity won’t let him walk to the airport, it just doesn’t cover this…)
They can smuggle him in a diplomatic pouch.
We (as in Tony Blairs government) sanctioned the flights of people kidnapped by the usa and put on flights out of the uk/through uk air space to various jails in shady places like Poland and north africa(iirc). Where they were tortured.
Whatever that represents in the uk justice system, it’s not that much protection i suspect in this case.
So yeah, basicaly a bunch of powerful people that can be described as ‘evil’ without too much of a stretch, probably want Julian in the same kind of place/situation they got Bradly Manning, or at a place like Gitmo. That the usa is controlling all that since the ‘war on terror’ and has prior links with the current Swedish government of this nature is probably not a good thing for Assange.
Having said that he needs to sort out the rape charges, trying to hide in ecuador probably won’t save him. He needs to clear his name in someway that would avoid his potential kidnap to american soil where he would just dissapear into legal limbo like bradly manning/gitmo people have.
While I don’t think Sweden would extradite to the US, I can understand why Assange ran and didn’t want to take that risk.
What can the US really do to Sweden that wouldn’t backfire on them twice as hard? Sweden’s like the adorable moeblob of the world, you hurt Sweden everyone gets mad at you.
They have been shifting pretty hard to the right over recent years (hasn’t everyone?). I got this info from swedish people themselves that were not that happy about it. It’s not the same sweden that Abba came out of by all accounts, thus the dark dealings with the post 911 hard right shifting uncle sam.
Sweden is turning right (just like Norway and Denmark, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find any Scandinavians agreeing with this assessment) and they don’t exactly have a spotless record in treating foreign nationals fairly in their courts of law. Google “Ritt Goldstein Counterpunch” and have a gander. Not saying Ritt Goldstein is the best source on Earth, but his stories are pretty congruent with others I’ve been told, also foreign nationals of minority ethnicity.
It’s also worth checking out who’s alleging rape. They’re not just anybody, and there was a lengthy exposé about their political ties last year. I wish I could find that piece, but if your Google Fu is stronger than mine, you’ll get there.
I know it’s pretty much 100% taboo to suggest that rape allegations can be false (I remember the Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Roman Polanski clusterfucks from a while back, let’s leave it at that) so I’m not gonna claim Assange is clean as a whistle and that this is all a crazy conspiracy to get him in an orange jumpsuit, but …
… y’know. Let’s just say those allegations were remarkably timely and dovetailed very nicely with several media outlets claiming Assange was a hacker and a fraud, all of whom attempted to conflate his past activity (most of which was hardly black hat) with his current role as a whistleblower.
If I were Assange, I’d get the hell outta Dodge.
Apparently one of my ex-girlfriends appeared on “Russia Today” this week to discuss Assange. The mind boggles, especially if you’ve seen “Russia Today.”
He was an idiot for falling for the honey trap, and his personality doesn’t help, but he’s clearly a western dissident and well within reason not to want to trust the UK, Swedish and US governments.
I’m pretty sure a large bribe will see him disappear from Ecuador into captivity though, not sure why he think’s he is safe there, failing that, the US probably already have an icepick with his name on it.
If the US is so hot to take him in, then why haven’t they done anything? At this point Wikileaks has probably done as much as its going to. Assange still hasn’t been charged with anything in the US, and since he’s been hanging around the UK for the last few years that would have been the perfect time and place to try and extradite him. So why should we assume that Sweden would be any better?
The idea that the US is just waiting for the chance to grab him in Sweden is nonsensical. Maybe the whole thing there is a setup, but if so it looks like it is designed to discredit Assange, not be the first step to hauling him off to Gitmo.
And honestly he’s not being his best friend over this. Which is, admittedly, predictable in a man who was (literally) screwing around with his new-found fame.
The UK Judiciary is much less likely to extradict Assange than the Swedish Judiciary imho. UK Judges have a long and illustrious history of not doing what they’re told and instead acting in accordance with the law and their principles, much to the chagrin of whoever is in Government at the time.
Also, considering Bradley Manning’s treatment and the shenanigans around his trial and incarceration, I think anyone who believes the US isn’t waiting for a chance to extradict him is a bit naive or uninformed.
Sure they want him. But he’s a very, very well-publicized dude, he’s not a camel-humping towelhead and they’ve got nothing on him apart from whistleblowing and less-than-credible allegations of sexual assault – after all, there’s no proof he put Manning up to his shenanigans, nor is any likely to surface.
If Assange just suddenly vanished, everyone who’s not completely retarded would understand what happened and would start considering the possibility that their governments are overtly and actively hostile towards dissidents. Not even the press could ignore that and every non-Western country ever accused of human rights breaches would rub their hands in unison. No-one in power wants that.
Which is why they want to get him to Sweden where they can extradict him. Note: there is a difference between the legal process of extradition and the american act of extraordinary rendition. One wouldn’t work on Assange, one would.
Yea, I’m sure the Swedish government would like to commit political suicide too. Oh, wait…
The UK has been up to it’s necks with the US, the details are only now starting to emerge. If they wanted a martyr for the cause they’d of grabbed him before now from here.
But he has had friends in high places in the uk that probably has protected him upto now, i guess in sweden it becomes more an unknown? But yeah i think if i was him (and knew i was innocent of these rape claims) i’d be looking to change my face like in the movie with Travolta, and make myself dissapear before the usa did.
Also i think if the usa was to grab him from sweden, the outcry wouldn’t be that big a deal. I mean look, they have Gitmo already, if that isn’t enough (by what it means in terms of the constitution and a persons rights etc) to force political change in the usa, Assange joining the orange suit brigade will hardly either. There are probably a large section of americans that thinks he deserves worse.