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Thread: Julian Assange - Extradition or Asylum?

  1. #16
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    I object to this article and its obvious fallacy in the strongest of terms: there is no way in hell that either The Guardian or The New York Times can be described as respectable publications.
    Because they printed the cables ?

    Indeed, one can’t escape the irony of The Guardian’s behaviour. Without registering any moral inconsistency, the paper has rightly taken a stern line over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal while also publishing top-secret emails that arguably undermined the security of the West.

    I’m sure it would plead public interest, and often rightly so, but the justification doesn’t work in every case.
    That covers the guardian's seemingly contradictory behaviour

    I guess Assange is right to a certain extent when he says..

    British journalism is the most ‘credit-stealing, credit-whoring, back-stabbing industry’
    Last edited by Double Edge; 22 Jun 12, at 08:39.

  2. #17
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Because they printed the cables ?
    Because they're left wing whores in the same way as Fox News are right wing whores.

  3. #18
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Ecuador's quandary over asylum for WikiLeaks chief

    Published June 22, 2012

    Associated Press

    QUITO, Ecuador – President Rafael Correa's objections to what he deems American interventionism in Latin America and his delight in Julian Assange's massive uncorking of U.S. secrets appear to have persuaded the WikiLeaks chief that Ecuador offers his best shot at avoiding extradition to Sweden.

    But four days after Assange ducked into Ecuador's London embassy seeking political asylum, this South American nation's leftist leader has yet to announce a decision. The choice may not be easy.

    Correa was cagey on Thursday night, telling reporters that Ecuador was consulting with the other governments involved.

    "We don't wish to offend anyone, least of all a country we hold in such deep regard as the United Kingdom," he said.

    The question he faces is whether it's worth risking a backlash from Washington and the European Union against his small, petroleum-exporting nation of 14 million.

    On the plus side, Correa would deepen his anti-establishment reputation by identifying himself with someone who also rates the mainstream media as beholden to moneyed interests and powerful governments.

    "By giving Assange asylum, Correa (would be) burnishing his anti-US credentials," said Michael Shifter, president of Inter-American Dialogue, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. "Correa and Assange not only have a personal chemistry — they also see themselves as victims of U.S. power."

    The two seemed to get on well when Assange interviewed Correa last month for his Kremlin-funded TV program. "Your Wikileaks have made us stronger," Correa told Assange, adding later: "Welcome to the club of the persecuted."

    "It is hard to escape the irony that Correa, who has suppressed press freedom in Ecuador, is associating himself with the professed champion of transparency," said Shifter. "What this reveals is that it all comes down to ideology."

    Correa has angered human rights and media freedom activists by using criminal libel law and media ownership restrictions to gag opposition-owned outlets that he claims are corrupt and intent on destroying him.

    The tactic hasn't hurt him domestically, however. The leftist economist who took office in 2007 is popular with lower-class Ecuadoreans who benefit from his generous public spending. His approval ratings top 70 percent.

    Nor is Correa as relentlessly hostile to Washington as President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Unlike Chavez, he has never accused the U.S. of trying to overthrow him. But he does relish courting U.S. global counterweights including Russia, China and Iran.

    And he boycotted April's Summit of the Americas in Colombia to protest Washington's continued insistence on excluding Cuba from such hemispheric summits.

    Correa has also expelled three U.S. diplomats whom he considered threats, including an ambassador who suggested in one of the more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks laid bare that Correa was deliberately overlooking high-level police corruption.

    But none of that guarantees he'll grant the Australian activist refuge.

    "The internal political and economic costs of asylum don't square up with the benefits," says Grace Jaramillo, an international relations expert at Ecuador's FLACSO university.

    "We're in an election year in which a strangling of relations with European countries and the United States, with which we are, respectively, negotiating a trade agreement and the renewal of preferential tariffs, would give them a good excuse to stop negotiations," she said.

    "Ecuador could basically forget about any renewal of the trade preferences if it granted safe haven to Assange," said Cynthia Arnson, Latin America director at the Woodrow Wilson center in Washington.

    Forty-five percent of Ecuador's exports go to the U.S. and account for about 400,000 jobs. And a failure to reach a trade pact with the European Union could cut exports by 4 percent and cost tens of thousands of jobs.

    There's also a risk for Correa of having Ecuador "become catalogued as a country that obstructs justice" and "protects transgressors of international law," said political scientist Vicente Torrijos of Rosario University in Bogota, Colombia.

    That could cost him votes when he runs for re-election early next year.

    On the other hand, he would win points with Latin American leftists for whom Assange is a "gigantic symbol" of the crusade against what they see as America's heavy-handedness in the region, said international relations specialist Sandra Borda of the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota.

    But she doesn't believe Washington would punish Ecuador if it accepted Assange. And in Washington, the State Department sought to keep out of the crossfire.

    "This is a UK-Ecuador-Sweden issue," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday. "We want to see justice served; let's leave it at that."

    On the streets of Quito, some had only a vague notion of who Assange is.

    One man who did know, 43-year-old lawyer Julian Amaya, didn't think bringing the former hacker to Ecuador was a good idea.

    "It doesn't make sense," he said, "because who is going to guarantee that he doesn't do the same thing here: reveal the secrets of the government, or of the opposition or whomever he wished?"

    ___

    Bajak reported from Lima, Peru. Associated Press writer Vivian Sequera contributed to this report from Bogota, Colombia.
    Read more: Ecuador's quandary over asylum for WikiLeaks chief | Fox News

    WikiLeaks Julian Assange will be arrested regardless of asylum bid

    WikiLeaks Julian Assange will be arrested regardless of asylum bid - Europe, World News - Independent.ie
    Europe Home

    By Martin Beckford, and Andrew Hough

    Friday June 22 2012
    23 Comments

    JULIAN Assange faces arrest regardless of whether or not Ecuador grants him political asylum, and could end up behind bars for years while he continues to fight extradition.

    The WikiLeaks founder has spent the past two nights holed up in the South American country’s London embassy, in an attempt to avoid being sent to Sweden for questioning over alleged sex crimes.

    But experts and authorities believe that even if Ecuador were to grant him asylum, he would face arrest the minute he walked out of the Knightsbridge building because he has breached his bail conditions.

    He is meant to remain at a bail address in Tunbridge Wells between 10pm and 8am every night while his appeals continue.

    If he were judged to be a flight risk, he could end up in jail until he exhausts his options for avoiding extradition. And if he takes his case to the European Court of Human Rights, the process could drag on for years.

    Mr Assange, a 40 year-old Australian, cannot be given diplomatic immunity by Ecuador as conferred on other embassy staff, because the Foreign Office would not approve the application.

    And even if he were made an Ecuadorian citizen or granted asylum, he would still be liable to be arrested on departure from the embassy.

    Last night in an interview from inside the embassy, Mr Assange accused Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard of “slimy rhetoric” and acused Swedish authorities of failing to respect his human rights.

    “The situation for me here in the United Kingdom has been extremelly precarious and the refusal by the Swedish prosecutor to come to the UK for the past 18 months... and the refusal of her to explain it in any matter whatsoever to the British courts has kept me trapped in the United Kingdom,” he told ABC Radio Australia.

    “The Swedes announced publicly, that they would detain me, in prison, without charge while they continued their so-called investigation.”

    He dismissed repeated claims from her government that he had been receiving ongoing consular assistance.

    “I haven’t met with anyone from the Australian High Commission since December 2010,” he said.

    Explaining why he chose Ecuador, he added: “We had heard that the Ecuadoreans were sympathetic in relation to my struggles and the struggles of the organisation with the United States.

    “We are in a position to draw attention to what is happening. The Department of Justice in the United States has been playing a little game, and that little game is that they refuse to confirm or deny the existence of a grand jury. We are hoping what I am doing now will draw attention to the underlying issues.”

    Hours earlier, speaking on the steps, a policeman told reporters: “I am not aware of any agreements which would allow him safe passage out of the UK.”

    Scotland Yard confirmed: “A successful asylum bid does not change the fact that he has breached his bail conditions.”

    One legal expert, the former government lawyer Carl Gardner, suggested that Mr Assange could try becoming Ecuador’s representative to the United Nations as a way to escape the country.

    He wrote on Twitter: “It's hard to think how Assange could leave the embassy, escape arrest and get on a plane. Except as Ecuador's new representative to the UN.

    The embassy, in a six-storey Victorian building, is only accessible by a front and side door that are monitored by police, so it is unlikely he could leave without being spotted.

    Another option would be for him to remain in the embassy indefinitely.

    The Foreign Office declined to comment on the possible ways by which Mr Assange could evade arrest.

    The maverick journalist and former computer hacker is responsible for the leaking of thousands of sensitive US diplomatic cables and military files, and fears he will be extradited to America by Sweden.

    His bid for refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy on Tuesday surprised his high-profile supporters – including Jemima Khan, Ken Loach and Michael Moore – and they are likely to lose the total of £240,000 bail bond they put up for him when he was first arrested in 2010.

    The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, was expected to give instructions on the WikiLeaks founder's application late on Thursday or the following day.

    Mr Assange is thought to have chosen Ecuador as a place of refuge as it previously offered him residency, and after interviewing the president last month.

    However the cables leaked by Mr Assange’s whistle-blowing website also disclosed the country’s poor human rights record.

    - Martin Beckford, and Andrew Hough
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  4. #19
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Repressive Ecuador odd choice for WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's asylum bid

    By Perry Chiaramonte

    Published June 21, 2012

    FoxNews.com

    Assangeinternal.jpg

    Julian Assange may find life in Ecuador nearly as stifling as prison. (AP)

    Ecuador is an unlikely place for WikiLeaks mastermind and self-styled free speech activist Julian Assange to seek asylum, given its long history of repression, corruption and human rights violations.

    The South American nation is set to decide whether to grant the request to Assange, who has been holed up in its embassy in London since Tuesday. Assange faces extradition back to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual assaults on two women. But turning to Ecuador for help is a curious choice, according to experts familiar with the nation's history and current regime of Rafael Correa.

    "For someone like Julian Assange, it is a remarkably cynical and hypocritical move to make," said Arch Puddington, vice president of research at Freedom House, a New York-based human rights advocacy group. "I don't think he would find life in Ecuador very comfortable. It's a country that does not value freedom of the press or freedom of expression.

    "He certainly would be unable to continue his work on WikiLeaks," Puddington added.

    Human Rights Watch says Correa has continued a longstanding policy of not allowing dissent.

    "Ecuador’s laws restrict freedom of expression, and government officials, including Correa, use these laws against his critics," the world watchdog says. "Those involved in protests marred by violence may be prosecuted on inflated and inappropriate ‘terrorism’ charges.

    The Ecuadorean government has an “insult law” in place known as Descato, which historically has criminalized free speech and expression. Under Descato, which is part of the Ecuadorian Criminal Code, any person who “offends” the president could be sentenced up to two years in prison and up to three months for “offending” any government official.

    Police corruption and abuses are widespread across the country and murder cases involving criminal gangs never go to trial as they are often attributed to a “settling of accounts,” according to critics.

    Assange told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio via phone that he decided to turn to Ecuador after his native Australia refused to intervene in his planned extradition from Britain to Sweden.

    He said Wikileaks had "heard that the Ecuadorians were sympathetic in relation to my struggles and the struggles of the organization with the United States."

    Assange indicated he doesn't know when Ecuador will decide on his case.

    Staff at Ecuador's London embassy confirmed a decision was expected from Ecuador's capital, Quito, on Thursday.

    Per Samuelson, one of the two Swedish lawyers handling Assange’s case, said his client "feels that he's persecuted politically by the U.S." since dumping hundreds of thousands of stolen sensitive U.S. cables and documents.

    "He is convinced that the U.S. is preparing charges," Samuelson said. "He feels that his asylum application is not about the crime accusations he faces in Sweden, but is about getting protected from the U.S."

    Assange's dramatic asylum bid took many of his supporters -- and even his lawyers -- by surprise. Samuelson said he had not been informed about Assange's plans until the Australian had already entered the embassy.

    British officials say Assange is beyond their reach in the embassy, but that he will be arrested if he leaves for breaching his bail conditions.

    The left-leaning Correa, who has sought to reduce U.S. influence in Latin America, has praised WikiLeaks for exposing U.S. secrets, and has offered Assange words of support.

    Correa said Wednesday that Assange had made it clear in his letter requesting asylum that "he wants to continue his mission of free expression without limits, to reveal the truth, in a place of peace dedicated to truth and justice."

    The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.
    Read more: Repressive Ecuador odd choice for WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's asylum bid | Fox News
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  5. #20
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Maybe the republicans should hire him to leak some docs on "Fast and Furious."
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  6. #21
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Equator should have turned down Assange's request without batting an eyelash. He's wanted in Sweden to face criminal charges, not to be drawn and quartered because he is a political menace. Simple as that. So, he denies the charges. Most indicted people do. Let the Swedish court decide.

    Of course, the problem for Assange is that Sweden extradition treaty with the US that says Sweden will transfer anyone wanted in the US for a crime that calls for 2 years or more jail time. The unclear part is that the transferred party must be returned to Sweden after the "proceedings" are complete in the US. It's not clear whether 'after the proceedings' means after trial or after jail time. Julian Assange- Sweden and U.S. Extradition Treaty « International Extradition Lawyers
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Equator should have turned down Assange's request without batting an eyelash. He's wanted in Sweden to face criminal charges, not to be drawn and quartered because he is a political menace. Simple as that. So, he denies the charges. Most indicted people do. Let the Swedish court decide.

    Of course, the problem for Assange is that Sweden extradition treaty with the US that says Sweden will transfer anyone wanted in the US for a crime that calls for 2 years or more jail time. The unclear part is that the transferred party must be returned to Sweden after the "proceedings" are complete in the US. It's not clear whether 'after the proceedings' means after trial or after jail time. Julian Assange- Sweden and U.S. Extradition Treaty « International Extradition Lawyers
    So it would be easier for the US to get him extradited from Sweden than it would be from the UK ?

  8. #23

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    What charge does he face in America to justify an extradition request? I'm unaware of any U.S. indictment. This is a grandstand ploy by Assange that has nothing to do with the CRIMINAL charges faced by him in Sweden.

    Anybody presuming otherwise assists Assange's efforts to obfuscate reality with notions of false persecution conspiracies.
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  9. #24
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Exile, I don't know whether it would be easier to get him from Sweden or the UK. Say he is convicted in Sweden for rape and gets jail time, Sweden could then send him to the US to face charges there. If convicted in the US, would he be returned to Sweden to finish his term there or would he go to a US prison? I don't know.

    As S2 points out, there are no charges pending against him in the US, although its rumored that a federal grand jury is weighing whether to indict him.
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  10. #25
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    In the end he turned out to be just a worm - I guess no bio-pic...

    WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: Thanks for nothing
    Holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange has made his supporters - including Jemima Khan and Bianca Jagger - look silly
    WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: Thanks for nothing - Telegraph
    The Julian Assange Supporters Club - a motley collection of socialites, movie-makers and human rights bores - includes, from top, Jemima Khan, Tariq Ali and Bianca Jagger among its ranks Photo: SPRINGS
    By William Langley10:00PM BST 23 Jun 201228 Comments
    As he sweats out the hours in the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange, fashionable society’s favourite fugitive, may be in more trouble than he realises. His big hope is to find a bolthole in South America, but the sinister forces he believes are pursuing him could turn out to be a lot more forgiving than the people who put up his bail money.
    The Assange Supporters Club, a motley collection of socialites, movie-makers and human rights bores, offers a poignant illustration of the collective liberal conscience battling the establishment by coshing itself over the head. It all looked so different late last year when 40-year-old Julian, the white-haired whizz-kid of the secrets-busting WikiLeaks website, was in a London courtroom trying to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.
    To his side rushed Jemima Khan, the cause-hungry heiress, saying: “I am here because I believe in the principle of the human right to freedom of information and our right to be told the truth.” Tripping daintily behind her was Bianca Jagger, the ex-wife of the Stones’ frontman, now a “goodwill ambassador” for the Council of Europe, who fumed that the charges against Assange must be part of a plot to have him handed over to America, where he could rot for the rest of his days in a dungeon.
    But what about the claims that Assange had sexually abused two women during a week’s visit to Stockholm? Clarification was provided by John Pilger, the Left-wing journalist, who, showing unsuspected jurisprudential skills, declared: “I have read almost every scrap of evidence in this case and it is clear, in terms of natural justice, that no crime was committed.” Marxist filmmaker Ken Loach suggested that the Americans might think jail too good for Assange: “Clearly the Yanks want to get him back and either imprison him for a long time or worse,” fretted Ken. “We need a bit of solidarity with someone who has just told us things we were entitled to know.”
    Together, the Supporters Club raised £240,000 to have the Australian released pending further legal manoeuvres. Last week, after a Supreme Court ruled extradition was legal and proper, Assange slipped into the embassy in London and claimed asylum.
    You have to hope he knows what he is doing. Ecuador exports five million tons of bananas a year, and gave the world the Panama hat, but a darkness dwells at its moist and spicy heart in the form of tinpot president Rafael Correa. Irony doesn’t quite capture the mordant weirdness of Assange seeking sanctuary in a country where the suppression of information is a flagship government policy.
    Here’s a recent bulletin from the Organisation of American States: “Correa regularly uses an emergency provision in the country’s broadcast law to commandeer the country’s airwaves and denounce journalists as ‘ignorant’ and ‘liars’.” But his tactics go beyond theatrics. Correa has filed multiple defamation suits against journalists and is creating a legal framework to restrict press freedom. Three executives and the former op-ed editor of the leading newspaper, El Universo, have been hit with a $40 million libel judgment and could soon be jailed.
    Now, what was Julian saying before this unpleasantness began? “We [WikiLeaks] are free press activists. It’s about giving people the information they need. That is the raw ingredient that is needed to make a just and civil society. Without that you are just sailing in the dark. I have tried to invent a system that solves the problem of censorship across the whole world.”
    Should he ever make it to the jungly bosom of Ecuador, Assange can reflect at leisure on such vagaries of fate. For the Supporters Club, facing that potential bill for £240,000 and a more painful loss of face, there is deeper reflection to be done. It isn’t as though Assange was ever the brave moral warrior the liberal establishment made him out to be.
    In their book WikiLeaks, David Leigh and Luke Harding of The Guardian, the newspaper that first championed Assange, describe the staff’s revulsion at his behaviour. Over lunch at a London restaurant, one reporter asked if he wasn’t worried that Afghan civilians who had co-operated with the coalition forces could be exposed to danger by WikiLeaks’ revelations, Assange replied: “So, if they get killed they’ve got it coming to them. They deserve it.” A silence fell over the table.
    The New York Times, another early WikiLeaks glorifier, suffered a similar disillusionment, reporting that several of Assange’s closest associates had abandoned him, exhausted by his “erratic and imperious behaviour, and nearly delusional grandeur”. The public mood has shifted, too, with a growing sense that a world in which nothing is secret would be even madder than the one we live in now.
    The Supporters Club looks to be in need of a little support itself. Jemima, confessing to being “on the hook” for a £20,000 bail bond, says she “expected” Assange to face the charges in Sweden. Miss Jagger and Pilger appear keen to point out that they didn’t actually put up any money, while fellow member Tariq Ali, the imperishable Left-wing activist and protester, defended the asylum bid as “a good move unless the vassal state that is Britain sends in the Paras”.
    It might be easier to let him go to Ecuador, concealed in a diplomatic banana crate and on the understanding that he doesn’t come back. “Let us stop promoting this image of poor, courageous journalists, a saintly media trying to tell the truth, and tyrants and autocrats trying to stop them,” said President Correa in an interview last month. Assange, who was asking the questions, nodded obligingly. “I completely agree with your view on the media,” he beamed. How well they will get along together.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  11. #26
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    What charge does he face in America to justify an extradition request? I'm unaware of any U.S. indictment. This is a grandstand ploy by Assange that has nothing to do with the CRIMINAL charges faced by him in Sweden.

    Anybody presuming otherwise assists Assange's efforts to obfuscate reality with notions of false persecution conspiracies.
    He claims there is a 'sealed indictment' of some sort, but nobody - including the Australian foreign minister - knows what that is, what it is about or even if it exists. You've hit the nail on the head - he doesn't want to front up in a Swedish court and he is happy to grandstand & make all sorts of vague accusations in the meantime.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Exile, I don't know whether it would be easier to get him from Sweden or the UK. Say he is convicted in Sweden for rape and gets jail time, Sweden could then send him to the US to face charges there. If convicted in the US, would he be returned to Sweden to finish his term there or would he go to a US prison? I don't know.

    As S2 points out, there are no charges pending against him in the US, although its rumored that a federal grand jury is weighing whether to indict him.
    The Australian foregin minister seems to think it would actually be easier to extradite him from the UK, yet the US has made no move in 2 years. While it is still possible they will when he ends up in Sweden (which seems inevitable given that the UK can pick him up the moment he moves outside the Ecuadorian Embassy - even if he is wiht diplomats), it seems unlikely. I think the simplest explanation is most likely - he dopesn't want to face the charges there. Either he knows he is guilty or he has convinced himself he won't get a fair trial.


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  12. #27
    Colonist Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    He claims there is a 'sealed indictment' of some sort, but nobody - including the Australian foreign minister - knows what that is, what it is about or even if it exists. You've hit the nail on the head - he doesn't want to front up in a Swedish court and he is happy to grandstand & make all sorts of vague accusations in the meantime.
    From what I have read, the U.S refuses to confirm or deny any grand jury being convened.
    From a 4 corners report last Tuesday I think, it was alleged that one of the private companies that carries out finding people, had their machines breached. One of which was the CEO's claiming they had received it.

    It is neither here nor there, for a perp, are you willing to be jailed for life based off a 50/50 question?
    I certainly wouldn't. Assange personality would go to the ends of the earth before accepting it.
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  13. #28
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Michael Moore supports violence against women... lol

    Moore, Glover, Stone, Greenwald, Wolf, Ellsberg Urge Correa to Grant Asylum to Assange




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    OpEdNews - Article: Moore, Glover, Stone, Greenwald, Wolf, Ellsberg Urge Correa to Grant Asylum to Assange




    By Michael Moore, Glenn Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Naomi Wolf, et al, Just Foreign Policy

    The following letter has been circulated mostly in the United States by Just Foreign Policy. It will be hand-delivered to the Embassy of Ecuador in London by Just Foreign Policy Policy Director Robert Naiman on Monday, June 25.

    We will also hand-deliver the online petition circulated by Just Foreign Policy, which has now been signed by more than 4,000 people. That petition -- which you can still sign -- is here:

    June 25, 2012

    Dear President Correa,

    We are writing to urge you to grant political asylum to Julian Assange.



    As you know, British courts recently struck down Mr. Assange's appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he is not wanted on criminal charges, but merely for questioning. Mr. Assange has repeatedly made clear he is willing to answer questions relating to accusations against him, but in the United Kingdom. But the Swedish government insists that he be brought to Sweden for questioning. This by itself, as Swedish legal expert and former Chief District Prosecutor for Stockholm Sven-Erik Alhem testified, is "unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate."

    We believe Mr. Assange has good reason to fear extradition to Sweden, as there is a strong likelihood that once in Sweden, he would be imprisoned, and then likely extradited to the United States.

    As U.S. legal expert and commentator Glenn Greenwald recently noted, were Assange to be charged in Sweden, he would be imprisoned under "very oppressive conditions, where he could be held incommunicado," rather than released on bail. Pre-trial hearings for such a case in Sweden are held in secret, and so the media and wider public, Greenwald notes, would not know how the judicial decisions against Mr. Assange would be made and what information would be considered.

    The Washington Post has reported that the U.S. Justice Department and Pentagon conducted a criminal investigation into "whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the group's release of government documents, including possible charges under the Espionage Act." Many fear, based on documents released by Wikileaks, that the U.S. government has already prepared an indictment and is waiting for the opportunity t o extradite Assange from Sweden.

    The U.S. Justice Department has compelled other members of Wikileaks to testify before a grand jury in order to determine what charges might be brought against Mr. Assange. The U.S. government has made clear its open hostility to Wikileaks, with high-level officials even referring to Mr. Assange as a "high-tech terrorist," and seeking access to the Twitter account of Icelandic legislator Birgitta Jónsdóttir due to her past ties to Wikileaks.

    Were he charged, and found guilty under the Espionage Act, Assange could face the death penalty.

    Prior to that, the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of providing U.S. government documents to Wikileaks, provides an illustration of the treatment that Assange might expect while in custody. Manning has been subjected to repeated and prolonged solitary confinement, harassment by guards, and humiliating treatment such as being forced to strip naked and stand at attention outside his cell. These are additional reasons that your government should grant Mr. Assange political asylum.

    We also call on you to grant Mr. Assange political asylum because the "crime" that he has committed is that of practicing journalism. He has revealed important crimes against humanity committed by the U.S. government, most notably in releasing video footage from an Apache helicopter of a 2007 incident in which the U.S. military appears to have deliberately killed civilians, including two Reuters employees. Wikileaks' release of thousands of U.S. State Department cables revealed important cases of U.S. officials acting to undermine democracy and human rights around the world.

    Because this is a clear case of an attack on press freedom and on the public's right to know important truths about U.S. foreign policy, and because the threat to his health and well-being is serious, we urge you to grant Mr. Assange political asylum.

    Thank you for your consideration of our request.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  14. #29
    Colonist Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    Michael Moore supports violence against women... lol
    Michael Moore is still around? Wow! Is he still carrying that badge of self appointed moral righteousness and selectivity?

    harassment by guards, and humiliating treatment such as being forced to strip naked and stand at attention outside his cell. These are additional reasons that your government should grant Mr. Assange political asylum.
    Harassment when not addressing military guards appropriately in a military establishment tends to get you that. When you threaten self harm with your panties, protocol is therefore followed, so outside your cell you stand, naked.

    most notably in releasing video footage from an Apache helicopter of a 2007 incident in which the U.S. military appears to have deliberately killed civilians, including two Reuters employees.
    Well, if you want to paint a slack ROE and suspicious pilots as a deliberate killing on the part of U.S military policy you should submit yourself as a university psychology test dummy - or form some students final thesis. At least before you start being some self appointed mouth piece.... oops, you already have.

    What was that south Park episode with Michael Moore? Was it the peruvian flute players? Hippy Pirates? Or was it the cleaners from the future?
    Ego Numquam

  15. #30
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    He claims there is a 'sealed indictment' of some sort, but nobody - including the Australian foreign minister - knows what that is, what it is about or even if it exists. You've hit the nail on the head - he doesn't want to front up in a Swedish court and he is happy to grandstand & make all sorts of vague accusations in the meantime.

    The Australian foregin minister seems to think it would actually be easier to extradite him from the UK, yet the US has made no move in 2 years. While it is still possible they will when he ends up in Sweden (which seems inevitable given that the UK can pick him up the moment he moves outside the Ecuadorian Embassy - even if he is wiht diplomats), it seems unlikely. I think the simplest explanation is most likely - he dopesn't want to face the charges there. Either he knows he is guilty or he has convinced himself he won't get a fair trial.
    He's doing such a good job self-destructing, why bother extraditing him. If he is rearrested in the UK, which seems likely, since the only possible way for him to get to Equator is if Equator appoints him its UN representative, it is almost a sure bet he'll end up in the US on trial.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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