Won't that make it ever so easy for the USA to get hold of him?
Personally I'd prefer a lifetime in the Swedish penal system to a few weeks in the USA's!
Julian Assange has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and is seeking asylum over the decision by the UK courts to extradite him to Sweden. "This afternoon Mr Julian Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy seeking political asylum from the Ecuadorian government,' said the Ecuadorians in a statement. "As a …
Assange wouldn't- he was telling Phillip Adams* last week that Sweden's prisons were the worst in Europe. Amusingly, Adam's guest the next day was the director of Stratfor.
*probably most famous in the UK for being the producer of 'Barry Mackenzie', the film with Barrie Humpries, Peter Cook and the 'One Eyed Trouser Snake' song
>ah, the Natwest three... that famous terrorist group...
Technically they were just guilty of multi-million dollar wire-fraud (and they were transfered back here to serve sentences on HR grounds). They got off quite lightly really, most charges were dropped in exchange for their guilty pleas.
Personally , and on the above basis, I'm quite happy for the US to prosecute our fraudulent bankers, the UK isn't exactly leading the way despite (or rather because) the worst of International banking generally happens here in the City.
"Personally , and on the above basis, I'm quite happy for the US to prosecute our fraudulent bankers..."
Although it would also be quite nice if they were to prosecute even one of their own fraudulent bankers, or any of the others who brought about the crash of 2008.
>Although it would also be quite nice if they were to prosecute even one of their own fraudulent bankers, or any of the others who brought about the crash of 2008.
Plenty going on and continue to - and most of those who served time alongside the Natwest fraudsters (who pled GUILTY and offered no defence being banged to rights) were US citizens....
Technically, they logged on to their Natwest Stockbroker accounts and sold their holdings of Enron shares before they went belly up, as a lot of people did. The Dept of Public Prosecutions here thought there was no case to answer, and I really don't understand what jurisdiction the US authorities have over the matter.
Tom Welsh, Hansard is your friend:
Between 2004-01-01 and 2011-11-29, there were 39 extraditions from the USA to the UK under the 2003 Act, and three additional extraditions from the USA to the UK under the 1989 Act, for a minimum* of 42 successful extraditions from the USA to the UK during that period.
* — Regarding these totals, “the UK” refers to just England and Wales (and Northern Ireland after 2008-04-01). Apparently Scotland deals with its own extradition requests separately (as did Northern Ireland until 2008-04-01). I don’t know why this particular definition of “the UK” was used to answer the original question.
Probably because if you want to know what happened in Scotland, or in Northern Ireland during the times they were responsible for extraditions, those records aren't held in Whitehall and you would need to ask the question in Hollyrood or Stormont rather than Westmister.
Indeed. A breach of their trust as well as that with the government of these islands:
The first item was I think a clear signal that he had a plan:
"Last week he failed to reopen an appeal against his extradition to Sweden."
Oh, money, £20,000 is not to be sneezed at I would say:
"If the situation was resolved quickly by Ecuador "effectively putting him on the doorstep of the embassy" for police to arrest, he may not be prosecuted for the breach and the extradition to Sweden would take its course.
Mr Assange's supporters would have to argue that, as it was always known exactly where Mr Assange was, they should have their bail money returned, our correspondent added.
But as it was with the court to provide security and bail had been breached, it was possible they would lose their money, he said.".
Assange has clearly demonstrated that he cannot follow social nor legal rules, and this would appear to have been inculcated in him by his mother from the earliest of ages. So now we see him letting down his new 'friends'.
In order to revoke the bail, Assange would have to shown cause before the bail could be revoked. Its not until he crossed over the embassy's threshold did he violate the terms in his bail.
IMHO, this was a very stupid move on his part.
First anyone who would have further supported him and had cash, now won't take the risk.
Second, assume that he truly has reason to fear getting extradited to the US. This just further embeds the idea that he is guilty in everyone's minds. (Only guilty men run, right?)
Third, counter the idea that he has no reason to fear the US. He could be doing this as a ploy to grandstand and stay in the media. This would make him truly pathetic, more so than the reality queens we see today, post Paris.
Already in the press from the Manning Article 32 hearing... There is evidence that Assange took an active part in assisting Manning. If so, Assange would have something to fear since it would remove the shield of the press. That's a key point. Were Assange only the recipient of the material, he would have a US Supreme Court ruling from the '70s as precedence which would save his bacon. Apparently this is not the case.
Maybe he's setting himself up for an insanity defense?
I'm with skelband. I don't know whether Assange is delusional or actual being persecuted by mysterious forces, but I thought he got a reasonably fair hearing (though, I did get his lawyer's point about the Vienna Convention).
As my post history will show, I think he should go back to Sweden to face those charges, but if that was used to then get him to the USA it would be an international incident.
Can we replace the black helicopter icon with Assange?
"I think he should go back to Sweden to face those charges, but if that was used to then get him to the USA it would be an international incident."
Agreed, but which magical sleight of hand would be used to get him to the US from Sweden exactly? As pointed out many many times, the US has a much stronger extradition relationship with the UK (as in "bend over please" but without the "please")
Neither Sweden nor the UK could extradite him to the US, he'd be possibly looking at a death sentence and the ECHR will not allow a member nation to extradite to a country where they have the death penalty and it's a possibility, with that in mind the US could say "ok, we won't kill him, promise!" and still the ECHR would say "yeah, but a 1,110,065 year sentence... bit extreme?"
The guy is a possible rapist, he allegedly raped workers for the wikileaks site, if there is a case to answer for he should answer it, hiding behind "oh, it's politically motivated" is a crock and shows massive disrespect to the females who claim rape, instead of hiding behind diplomatic skirts shouldn't he really be heading out to Sweden to clear his name?
If it was a violent rape rather than "he didn't wear a condom therefore consent is automatically denied" would anyone be supporting his stance or would it be a case of "get this twat our of this country, RIGHT NOW!"?
> The ECHR will not allow a member nation to extradite to a country where they have the death penalty
I may be wrong but as long as he's not a citizen of a member country of the ECHR, they won't get involved. Australia not being in Europe...
> The guy is a possible rapist
The only thing that everyone agrees about is that there was sex between 2 consenting adults (well, between Assange and 2 separate consenting women; double-timing bastard.) The inquiry seems to be about Assange refusing to take a HIV test after his condom broke. That's /a posteriori/ sexual offense in Sweden, but pretty much nowhere else. Using the term "rape" is both inacurrate and inflammatory.
> "he didn't wear a condom therefore consent is automatically denied"
Apparently he _did_ wear a condom, which broke. Then he refused to take a HIV test. Yes, he's a massive dick. A rapist? not by my book. Does that grant an extradition? It is after all a minor civil offense even in Sweden (it's not an offense at all in any other country that I know of). You don't get extradited for a parking ticket. They could set a date for the trial, he would fail to show up, he would then be found guilty by default and he would have to pay the small fine that the offense carries.
Now pray tell, why are not doing exactly that?
Nothing to do with a condom breaking.
There are four charges: that on 14 August 2010 he committed "unlawful coercion" when he held complainant 1 down with his body weight in a sexual manner; that he "sexually molested" complainant 1 when he had condom-less sex with her after she insisted that he use one; that he had condom-less sex with complainant 2 on the morning of 17 August while she was asleep; and that he "deliberately molested" complainant 1 on 18 August 2010 by pressing his erect penis against her body
Now, 1 condom-less sex when consent is only given when a condom is used, therefore there was no consent from the female = rape. 1 condom-less sex with a woman who was asleep, that means there was no implied consent (she was asleep so couldn't consent) as well as the lack of condom. It's rape, plain and simple, no means no. If you're having sex with a woman and half way through she says "STOP" and you don't, that too is rape.
If of course you believe it isn't rape, head out into town tonight, find a woman who is so drunk that she falls into a drunken slumber and then have sex with her, see if you can avoid a charge of rape (hint, you will be charged with rape and go to prison so actually, don't do it).
According to your post, there are four charges. In which case, why are Swedish authorities asking to interview him? They've already pressed charges according to you. Of course, the reality is, your basic premise is actually wrong. There are no charges, simply allegations. If there were charges, it would be easy and he would be in court by now.
The following URL is a BBC explanation of events and allegations
You will note that one entry states quite clearly that neither woman was asleep (contrary to your claim) and that both claim it at least started consensually. There are also discrepencies between your version and this report.
So, all in all, your claimed 'facts' are actually nothing of the sort. Your wrong at the most basic level in calling them charges and have made ludicrous other statements such as a woman being asleep.
ElReg!comments!Pierre, according to
(a Swedish-language site on Swedish law), there are two possible results of being convicted of sexuellt ofredande (“sexual misconduct”): either a fine, or fängelse i högst två år (“up to two years’ imprisonment”).
None of the potential charges carry the death penalty in the US.
Shipping him to Gitmo can't happen either - the whole point of Gitmo is as an end run round the judicial process. If he gets extradited to the US he goes into the judicial system on landing.
There is not the slightest evidence that Sweden would extradite him to the US.
The suggestion that Swedish prisons are too awful to contemplate is hilarious. Prison reform movements around the world use Swedish prisons as an example of how it should be done.....
If he gets extradited to the US he goes into the judicial system on landing.
That's assuming he actually lands in the US, or even Sweden. It's alleged, and possibly proven, though I can't remember, that the UK government was complacent in sending and or allowing people to be sent to gitmo.
The problem I have with all this is deciding weather Assange is paranoid, or not paranoid enough.
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Its another case where American law applies to everyone and everything.....
Christopher Tappin - Conspiring to export missiles from the US... see the the problem with that, he's not a US citizen, not a US business man and technically he was importing them and it was a bunch of US agents that were exporting them. Interesting how the manufacturer are in no way to blame for poor control.
Richard O'Dwyer - Providing links to copyrighted material, no charges bought in the UK but shipped him over to the US
Everything to do with the Yanks, they are already known to be pressuring the Swedish gov to get their hands on him whether he is charged or not and most recently the Swedish have been rolling over to demands from the US in respect to websites closures, copyright cases, and web based crimes of which most of them aren't actually illegal under Swedish law.
If as is stated by the Swedish\EC warrant the purpose is too question him in relation to possible offenses which as yet he hasn't been charged with then surely that can be done from a police station in the UK under interview condition, incidentally he offered to do this at the Swedish Embassy or Scotland Yard.
"Everything to do with the Yanks, they are already known to be pressuring the Swedish gov to get their hands on him whether he is charged or not and most recently the Swedish have been rolling over to demands from the US in respect to websites closures, copyright cases, and web based crimes of which most of them aren't actually illegal under Swedish law."
Proofie woofie? I thought not, but I can tell you that under the terms of the EAW the Swedes cannot allow him to be extradited without the UK's prior permission. It would be easier for the US to call on the UK now before Assange is taken to Sweden.
Hmm, first proof.....
Raid against the Piratebay for copyright infringement, although not illegal in Sweden the US DOJ pressured Sweden into it:
A letter titled "Re: The Pirate Bay" from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to Dan Eliasson, State Secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Justice, was dated two months before the raid and hinted at trade reprisals.
As for terms of the warrant, they only apply whilst the warrant is in effect. Once the warrant has been executed and consider complete there would be nothing to stop the US submitting a request to the Swedish government to have him arrested on US based charges as long as they released him, didn't directly transfer him, didn't impede his ability to leave the country (i.e no fly list, confiscate passport etc) prior to re-arresting him then they could extradite him.
Incidentally I do think he's an idiot and i'm not particularly keen on him, but I'm less keen on America.
I've already cited a number of examples, if you would like to provide your evidence to contradict and prove them incorrect then please feel free to do so.
But to add some more and show just how openly the US interprets its own laws.
Libyan Intel documents showing direct links to CIA renditions supported by Diplomatic cables released by Wiki leaks
Water boarding of suspects which is deemed as torture under Human Rights acts to which they are signatories.
US drone attacks which have injured as many civilians as suspected terrorists, of course these cant be confirmed as terrorists since none have ever been put through a legal system. Incidentally if they are suspects and the US obviously knows there location why don't they extradite them rather than summary execution on presidential order.
Mega upload - removal of evidence without permission of the NZ gov, there justification the physical media is the evidence not data.... in that case since Manning only took the information and not the physical device then he cant have taken any evidence.
"If as is stated by the Swedish\EC warrant the purpose is too question him in relation to possible offenses which as yet he hasn't been charged with then surely that can be done from a police station in the UK under interview condition, incidentally he offered to do this at the Swedish Embassy or Scotland Yard."
This has been pointed out to be completely false.
The Swedes want to question him prior to officially charging him which is their legal procedure. He fled their jurisdiction prior to being brought in for this questioning and eventual arrest. As already stated under oath in the UK, and in filed court documents, Sweden intends on charging him after he is returned to Sweden and questioned.
Don't know what you've been smoking, but please share.
The Swedes want to question him prior to officially charging him which is their legal procedure. He fled their jurisdiction prior to being brought in for this questioning and eventual arrest.
Not sure what you've been smoking but if you do a little bit more research, you would actually find the initial warrant\accusations (not a Euro warrant) of rape was dismissed by Eva Finne which would potentially would have carried a custodial sentence and only the minor "annoyance" accusation remains.
It was then at the beginning of September that a new warrant (again not a euro warrant) was issued for both offenses again during which time assange was also undertaking a hearing for a Swedish work permit and was still in the country.
On Sept 15th he was given permission to leave the country following a 5week stay to answer the allegations made against him (the prosecutions own timeline\evidence supports this)
November 28th Swedish court issued the ECW followed shortly after by an Interpol red flag, these were both issues after he had already left the country and initially answered questions.
"None of the potential charges carry the death penalty in the US".
Who said anything about "charges"? The Decider-in-Chief is now legally permitted to have anyone in the world summarily executed, tortured, imprisoned, or all three (although presumably not in that precise order).
Or, of course, he could be charged by a "military commission" (i.e. kangaroo court) like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Possibly after being waterboarded a few hundred times and driven insane.
Or he could simply be placed in special military detention until the seas dry up.
Unless the Police Force's a charity. Assange may be an insufferable twat, but of course the whole thing is for the US to put their hands on him. Remember there is no habeas corpus in the US, read the National Defense Authorization Act. And the UK is just a banana monarchy that will take it form the US with or without lube.
"Assange may be an insufferable twat, but of course the whole thing is for the US to put their hands on him."
Believing his propaganda, then?
It does rather appeal to anti-establishment conspiracy theorists.
Alternatively, he's just a scum-bucket, hypocritical, lying rape suspect with over-privileged access to lawyers and the media, which he is using to evade questioning and potential trial.
If the US wanted him that badly, they would have had him by now.
"No matter what happens with Assange, it is important to remember that WikiLeaks is far bigger than any one person and that their increasingly important work must go on."
Well quite. So how they can argue that it's some "political" thing that's happening is beyond me. It seems the conspiracy varies depending which day it is. First it's a scam to get him to the US via Sweden (when the US could extradite him from the UK with barely an ask, compared with Sweden where it would be harder), then he's innocent and so refusing to go for fear of lack of a fair trial, and now it's a political play to punish him for Wikileaks - though quite how the US managed to get a woman in Sweden to press charges as a vendetta for Wikileaks is a bit of a stretch.
I'm particularly bored of this game of cat and mouse for what is on the face of it a legitimate sexual assault charge.
> Is this the actions of an 'innocent' man?
Sure. If I believed I was going to get screwed over and potentially end up dead by allowing myself to be extradited for something of which I was innocent, in a heartbeat I'd run. Not everyone is a martyr.
I'm not saying he's innocent. I have no way to judge that. But avoiding extradition when you think you're being persecuted doesn't indicate guilt. If anything, this radical a step supports his claim that he thinks he's in serious danger here. Again, he might be thinking wrong. I have no way to judge that. But your question implies all kinds of things that aren't reasonable.
Sure. If I believed I was going to get screwed over and potentially end up dead by allowing myself to be extradited for something of which I was innocent, in a heartbeat I'd run. Not everyone is a martyr.
Except he is no such thing. In Sweden, the US has 3 governments to deal with i they ant to extradite him (the UK, Sweden, and the Australian government have all got issues with people being extradited to face death penalties).
He's just a guy trying to dodge a criminal charge - a charge that because of all of this smoke and mirrors Assange is pulling, I grow increasingly convinced he's guilty of.
Though obviously I know why everyone's denying it. He broke the golden rule. A single person can never screw with another country's foreign policy or threaten a country as a whole. This has been the rule since way before Hannibal. People idolise the Spartan king, Leonidas, for his strength, but he still died and so did all his best mates.
America invaded another country's foreign soil to get someone they didn't like, without telling the owners. You'd think after Che Guevara (yes I know it wasn't just them,) Noriega, and Bin Laden, people would get the message. We've done, Russia's done it, China's done it. It happens.
It's not fair, nice, kind, caring, or any other adjective you care to mention. It's life. America's not doing anything we haven't and rather unfortunately, this guy shouldn't have been so stupid. The world is full of idealistic young turks, but there aren't any old ones.
What did he think was going to happen; when he started leaking to the world, the private, nay, top secret communiques from the world's current superpower? Did he expect them to go "Ok. It's a fair cop. We promise to let others take the piss out of us from now on. Chuckle? We give up. We're beaten by a small band of happy people, and the internet!!! We've lost!!!"
No no no no no. I'm afraid not.
I'm afraid that was never going to happen. There was always going to be some yank in Langley, probably very patriotic, doing just what I'd want to do if if was my country that was being buttf*cked on national telly, who retorted with the opinion that his 260 million fellow countrymen's best interests were more important than Mr Estranged's. And he's got a budget of billions and an international spy network that brought down Soviet Russia. And he has a point his 260 million are more important to him. I can see why he'd feel that way.
I think Billy Crystal said it best in When Harry met Sally. There was this huge guy who wore a t-shirt saying "Don't fuck with Mr Zero." Well the US is Mr Zero.
I sympathise with Mr soon to be Estranged for the rest of his life. Everyone has a dream, but he should have picked something more achievable; such as changing the human condition to love peace and harmony, rather than pick a fight with the world's biggest, most powerful monster of a country.
Wow. Tell me whatever you're smoking because it seems worth avoiding..
The US is not going to be interested in helping his (alleged) cause by making him a martyr. First of all do they have Manning for that, and secondly they know off the Streisand effect too.
But hey, feel free to continue to listen to Assange(tm), Because you two clearly deserve each other.
(from the New York Times)
"The situation threatens to inflame tensions between the government of Rafael Correa, Ecuador's leftist and ardently anti-Washington president, and U.S. authorities, who accuse Assange of damaging its foreign relations with his leaks. It is also an embarrassment for Britain..."
"The Andean nation in 2010 invited Assange to seek residency there but quickly backed off the idea, accusing him of breaking U.S. laws."
Asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy must always have been Assange's fall back position since he arrived in England. To be used before the last appeal.
My guess is it will probably take a long time for Quito to decide. England's imperialism in the Falklands, hurting its sister Latin American country, Argentina, Ecuador has no reason to give Assange up. Sweden, the country that invented free love and all the diseases that go along with it, has no influence in Catholic Ecuador. Especially on rape charges; Sweden probably teaches its kindergarten students the ins and outs of intercourse so when they're older they can bag a gold medal if sex is ever made an Olympic Sport. Asssange, himself, will be in the Andes for 12/12/12.
But while he waits, I hope the Embassy has Netflix or whatever crap they use in London.
"England's imperialism in the Falklands, hurting its sister Latin American country, Argentina, Ecuador has no reason to give Assange up."
No imperialism; the Falklands were not inhabited prior to becoming British territory, though the south American continent was, and the Hispanic occupiers are colonialists. If ever a Mugabe arises on the south American continent it will be interesting to see the discomfort and posturing then.
England's imperialism? There is not government of England, so there is another point on which you are wrong.
Finally, the Argentinian government (in the form of Kirchner's husband, who preceded her in post and then died) had an agreement for a 50-50 split of any oil revenues should oil be discovered. The Argentinian government shredded the agreement, but you won't hear them talking about that any more.
"England's imperialism in the Falklands"
The British have been in the Falkland Islands since before Agentina was even an independent country. The inhabitants did not seize the territory from any native population. Argentina's basis for a claim is that when they became independent of Spain, the King of Spain drew a big circle on the map (not literally, maps were expensive back then) and said "okay, all this area I'm not going to claim any more. You can go ahead and have it". Despite that the British were actually there at the time and the Spanish had no presence. In the ancient history of the islands? There's scant evidence that there's ever even been a ongoing population. A very old canoe has been found and the occasional low-tech tool. All we really know is that the islands have been visited in history. That could be a very small number of people who washed up there and then left again, or else died out shortly after. There's this weird idea in some people's heads that the Falkland islands are just off the coast of Argentina. They're actually almost 300 miles away. That's so far that even if you had a telescope you still wouldn't be able to see them from Argentina because the curvature of the Earth would stop you. If you think the Falkland Islands should be part of Argentina because they're under 300 miles away, then you might as well say that Poland should be part of Germany. And that worked out well. You don't get to tell a neighbouring population that you're nearest, so they have to live under your rule now, thankyouverymuch. The Falkland islanders have been there for generations, they never kicked anyone off the islands and Argentina had no claim to say the islands were theirs. The Falkland islanders overwhelmingly want to remain under our goverment and overwhelmingly reject the Argentinian government. Even the UN has stated that any resolution of the issue must be on the basis of self-determination.
Argentina's sole attempt to populate the island in history consists of shipping a bunch of prisoners there once in an attempt to start a penal colony. The prisoners (and the crew) mutinied and that was that. They also iirc sent another ship out once, and that mutinied too because the Argentinian government didn't pay them, though they did murder five people on the islands before the British captured them.
Argentina has no claim morally or legally to the Falkland isles. If you want to look at "imperialism" look at how the military junta of Argentina, in 1982, invaded the islands without declaration of war or even warning. There were only 57 British soldiers on the island and that was only because the Argentinian government had the lack of sense to attack during a personnel changeover.
The invasion was motivated by the shakey dictatorship in Argentina wanting to distract the population. When the British sent reinforcements out there, the Argentinian government sent hundreds of conscripts to attack. Nearly 300 British soldiers lost their lives and also tragically, over double that in Argentinian conscripts.
The recent sabre-rattling by Argentina is because they are again, facing big domestic issues and the government there wants to distract the population by directing their ire (wrongly) at those islands 300 miles away, and because companies have recently found oil around the islands and Argentina wants it. And again, we've seen how well attacking a country for its oil works out. Just for those who have a pre-existing desire to support Argentina in this, it's worth noting that the oil fields aren't even between the islands and Argentina (as if that would matter). They're primarily North and East of the islands so far discovered. Argentina wants to get the islands and then the oil on the far sides.
Not that many oil companies would be particularly trusting of Argentina right now. Earlier this year, Argentina seized a Spanish owned company and nationalised it with the (loosely summarised) argument of "it's ours now." The Argentinian government are so bad that they actually made me agree with William Hague.
So short version: "England's Imperialism" No. And I think you mean Britain, not "England". You wouldn't be American by any chance would you because they never seem to remember the rest of the UK.
"There's this weird idea in some people's heads that the Falkland islands are just off the coast of Argentina. They're actually almost 300 miles away".
And how far away are they from Britain? Nearly 8000 miles - a full one-third of the Earth's circumference! (Similarly Hawaii, which is apparently part of the USA, is over 2500 miles from the nearest part of the North American continent).
Now consider Rockall, a small uninhabited island 187 miles from the nearest UK island - not that much closer than the Falklands are to Argentina. Rockall is currently claimed by Denmark, Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Suppose a boatload of Argentine colonists were to land on it tomorrow and claim it for Argentina. Their argument would be that it's nearly 200 miles from the UK and they are the only inhabitants, so they must be entitled to self-determination. Does that work for you?
"And how far away are they from Britain? Nearly 8000 miles - a full one-third of the Earth's circumference!"
And? I note that you cut my quote off a sentence early just before I wrote that geographical proximity isn't a good basis for saying that you should rule the inhabitants of somewhere. The relevant parts are that the inhabitants never took that land from Argentina (neither legally nor morally), never displaced any other inhabitants (and Argentina has never had a sustained population there) and that the inhabitants want to remain goverened by the UK. The point of explaining the islands are 290 miles away from Argentina isn't to say that they should be ruled by the UK. It's to point out the absurdity of people making arguments that they should be ruled by Argentina because they're adjacent. This is not an occupied territory off the coast of Argentina. That is the relevance of pointing out where they are.
Quite honestly, your arguing on the basis that history and the will of the population should be less important than who happens to be the least hundreds of miles away from somewhere is actually offensive to me.
"Now consider Rockall"
I'm well aware of Rockall actually. For anyone that isn't (which will be most people for reasons that will be apparent if anyone clicks on the link here), it is officially 31m long and 25.3m wide. Note for people accustomed to sarcasm on the forums, these actually is are the dimensions of the "island" which actually is a rock on which the primary vegetation matter is lichen. Honestly, that alone shows your argument for what it is - a contrived attempt to argue by analogy (and badly). Your "boatloat of Argentine colonistst" would not actually fit on it. But for the sake of indulging your extremely hyperbolic and hypothetical thought experiment, yes, it does "work for me". If by some miracle Argentinians migrated there and sustained a population there for generations, displacing no native (and very cramped) British population, then sure, they would be welcome to call it their home as far as I'm concerned.
I don't know what is going through your mind when you think you would catch me out in some hypocracy because it wouldn't "work for me" if the Argentinians did it too. It's fine. They find an uninhabited island nearly two hundred miles away from any other country without any native or existing inhabitants or recent history and decide to live on it since the 1800's, then fine by me! Argentinian, British, Martian... People's right to self-determination is important. And that's what Argentina is not respecting when they threaten the Falkland Islands.
"England's imperialism in the Falklands...Sweden, the country that invented free love and all the diseases that go along with it... Sweden probably teaches its kindergarten students the ins and outs of intercourse so when they're older they can bag a gold medal if sex is ever made an Olympic Sport..."
Clearly, you don't know many Swedes, either.
"He'll probably get kidnapped by some drug cartel and held for a huge ransom, which WikiLeaks will end up passing a hat around to fund..."
I doubt all the media-hungry right-on minor celebs who stumped up his bail will be dumb enough to put their hands in their pockets again, somehow.
I guess though that if the US *actually* want him punished, he'll be easier to deal with there than if locked up as a rapist in Sweden. So it's good news for the US, I guess.
Whatever else is going on I think it's sad that people pull the "rape" stuff out.
He went with a willing woman to his room and had sex. Then slept with her and in the morning had sex again. The reason their is a case is because he didn't use a condom the second time.
There is no sexual assault or rape going on here.
So I very much understand why he thinks there is something fishy going on with the case. Even if he is convicted all he will get is a slap on the wrist. (Few $ fine)
1) There are *two* women. You've conflated the two claims into one.
2) One was asleep.
3) If a woman gives conditional consent (wear a condom) and you don't meet that condition, then you don't have consent.
4) The laws are Sweden's laws. If you don't agree with them, I suggest you don't go there.
5) Most importantly, people aren't pulling 'the "rape" stuff out'. It's what the bloody warrant is for and what it states - rape, unlawful coercion and sexuellt ofredande.
These ladies apparently still 'met him' after and he continued staying at one place until asked to leave when Woman 1 heard of Woman 2 etc etc something like that anyway. It is all a mess - the biggest mess being that shouldn't it be the judge that issues the extradition and not the prosecutor? BTW I'm not a fan of Assange but he probably has as many rights to the Nobel peace prize than Obama, look at his record over the last few years, drones, Guantanamo, . .. .
> 1) There are *two* women.
Not at the same time
> 2) One was asleep.
No. The condom broke.
> 3) If a woman gives conditional consent (wear a condom) and you don't meet that condition, then you don't have consent.
The condom was worn. It broke.
> 4) The laws are Sweden's laws. If you don't agree with them, I suggest you don't go there.
Yes, but you are not supposed to be extradited for minor civil matters. The offense he is accused of only carries a small fine under Swedish law.
> 5) Most importantly, people aren't pulling 'the "rape" stuff out'. It's what the bloody warrant is for and what it states - rape, unlawful coercion and sexuellt ofredande.
Mixing languages are not going to make you right. The only correct part is the part in (approximate) Swedish. I suggest you look into what that means in Swedish law. The "rape" and "coercion" you just made up.
6) he has not been accused of anything. I repeat: there is no bloody accusation. You heard me right. Extradition is usually for people who are accused of something (i.e. charged). There is no charge in this case absolutely none, and especially not a criminal one. There is a vague allegation of a minor civil offense. That is typically no ground for an extradition. That's akin to being extradited to France because someone says: "I think I saw him speeding on the highway last time he went shopping on the continent".
Assange is a smug bellend, no question about that. But that circus is ridiculous, and he is not the one responsible for that (for once).
Did I say they were "at the same time"? The arrest warrant has 4 cases on it and I've made up nothing. A good enough starting point for finding sources on that are:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assange_v_The_Swedish_Judicial_Authority#Arrest_warrant (not my source I hasten to add)
As for whether a condom was worn/broke, isn't this the point of the legal system, to establish this? At the moment all we have is 2 women who made a complaint, a prosecutor looking to speak to Assange to get his side of the story, and Assange hiding wherever he can. Bear in mind he fled from Sweden when he knew that he was to be questioned there. The "circus" started when he ran from an active investigation.
What's the point of European arrest warrants then? There is an arrest warrant out for him, and the entire UK court system have established it's valid. What more do they need to do to convince you he's required in Sweden?
"Assange is a smug bellend, no question about that. But that circus is ridiculous, and he is not the one responsible for that (for once)."
Yes he is. He's the one that created the circus. He screamed 'Politics, USA, GITMO, fix-up!' as loudly as he could to the world media.
Anyone else with a clear conscience, not suffering from paranoia, and lacking access to the world media and a shit-ton of money and lawyers would have simply gone to Sweden, answered some questions and either cleared the matter up, or have been guilty and ultimately paid a fine that has become negligible compared with the costs of this case.
Money and influence talks, justice walks. He's just trying to evade justice in Sweden; pure and simple.
"Money and influence talks, justice walks. He's just trying to evade justice in Sweden; pure and simple."
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't he offer to go to Sweden if they guarenteed that he wouldn't be extradited to the US? (at which they refused to guarentee that)
Sounds like he's trying to avoid American Justice, not Swedish.
"4) The laws are Sweden's laws. If you don't agree with them, I suggest you don't go there."
While I agree with you I seem to recall that the whole event was a little bit different. The women who filed the charges also dropped them at one point, only to be followed by the prosecutor re-opening the whole case again. Doesn't that sound a little bit peculiar, especially for something which is supposed to be a rather minor offense in Sweden?
From what I read the whole case could simply end up with Assange having to cough up a big fine ($ 1000,- - $ 1500,- ?) after which he could be declared an unwanted person and would have to leave the country. Within that context I can somewhat understand why anyone with the history of Assange would be very weary when the whole event takes rather strange turns (dropping charges, re-instating them).
Another thing which seems rather odd to me; the main reason for the extradition is because Sweden wants to interview Assange. I have to wonder; why couldn't these interviews have taken place in the Swedish embassy in London ? Especially if you keep in mind that when put into context this is all about a minor offence. One which, I mentioned it already, even got dropped at one point.
And quite frankly, when you take a look at the Wikipedia's article on extraordinary or irregular renditions you'll notice that Sweden has had issues before (Wikipedia link). In short; basically allowing the US to take people into custody without so much as follow official protocol (also known as the law).
According to that same article all the UK ever had to deal with were two US "rendition flights" which had stopped on UK territory.
So I can quite well understand why this would make Assange jumpy and unwilling to go to Sweden.
"I have to wonder; why couldn't these interviews have taken place in the Swedish embassy in London ?"
As has been repeatedly said, the Swedish legal method of charging someone is to first interview and then charge them; this was their intent, they informed Assange's legal counsel and Assange suddenly disappeared, reappearing in the UK, where his legal counsel (in court) denied having any contact from the Swedish police to tell him they wanted to interview him; he retracted this denial, in court, on inspecting his mobile phone, which told him the truth; the Swedish police had contacted him telling him they wanted to interview Assange. The Swedish counsel's professional association had words with him about his conduct.
Assange can't be extradited to the U.S. You have to have committed a crime there and have an outstanding warrant for your arrest. Sweden has a some what better case, with its 'extradition for questioning' bullshit. The Gorgon Sisters of Stockholm have have sworn that he fucked them too hard. Or maybe not hard enough. Whatever. The Swedish prosecutor suborned perjury out of them. No more difficult for them to than to perform fellatio in the alley for a couple of krona. Remember how many days after this putative illegal sex, did these harpies report it to the authorities?
In so far as him seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy, don't you think this was part of his plan if the Supremes denied him relief? Hardly spur of the moment. Whether he chose the Ecuadorian Embassy because of it's location in London or because inquiries led him and his advisers to believe he had a better chance for asylum there remains to be seen.
I can't wait to hear the shrill wails out of the Western Capitals because of this.
Especially after the U.S. just gave asylum to the Chinese Ray Charles in their Embassy in Beijing.
David Hemler is an Airman that deserted and now living in Sweden, Even though he entered the country under a false name Sweden said they will not extradite him. Now he entered the country illegally and is a US citizen that Sweden won't deport.The US Air force wants to prosecute the man What make you think Sweden will extradite Julian.
"David Hemler is an Airman that deserted and now living in Sweden, Even though he entered the country under a false name Sweden said they will not extradite him. Now he entered the country illegally and is a US citizen that Sweden won't deport.The US Air force wants to prosecute the man What make you think Sweden will extradite Julian."
Hemler is unimportant. Not many Americans would want to desert if that meant living the rest of their lives in Sweden. Indeed, not that many people want to desert from the USAF at all - living conditions are pretty good as armed forces go, and if they ever actually have to fight it will be against people who don't have a snowball's chance in hell.
Assange is seen as much more important. The US government REALLY REALLY REALLY doesn't want people to get the idea that they can leak its secret information with impunity. They'd hang draw and quarter him, if their precious constitution didn't express forbid "cruel and unusual punishment".
Oh wait a minute - they don't pay any attention to that constitution any more.
Not many Americans would want to desert if that meant living the rest of their lives in Sweden.
Are you American by any chance? A quick search for quality of live Sweden vs US returns (Admittedly from Yahoo answers <pinchofsalt>)
The quality of life for the general population in Sweden is definitely better than in the US. Sweden does have a higher life expectancy, low-cost quality health care for everyone and decent standardised education (and there are no tuition fees for university). It's a great place to raise a family: safe, clean and full of opportunities. Poverty is nearly non-existent (at least by US standards).
I know that if I told my missus we were relocating to the States I'd be going alone, Sweden she might consider (Germany was OK).
That said, as you say the USAF does treat it's people pretty bloody well most of the time, but then peoples reasons for desertion vary with the individual.
"Are you American by any chance?" Actually by his statements he I'd say is not for two reason. He has this idea that all American are so arrogant that there is no way Americans would want to live outside. Um look at the economy. That and he is so gun ho that the US wants Julian so bad that Sweden will violate its on laws before deporting some who broke Swedish law and got into Sweden illegally.
So you are saying Sweden is only willing to stand up to the US when the rest of America does not care ? By the way most Americans do not care about Julian. The US Air force really really wants David Hemler. They made him their number 3 most wanted guy even putting out age progression of him. S you think Sweden would bend over backwards and hand over to the US a non US citizen who made or may not broken Swedish law before handing of a US Citizen that broke both US and Swedish law. Oh and that guy that suck into Sweden has been designated a high priority by the US Air Force. Please tell me again why they would hand over Julian first ?
"He has received numerous awards and nominations, including the 2009 Amnesty International Media Award, Readers' Choice for TIME magazine's 2010 Person of the Year, the 2011 Sydney Peace Foundation gold medal and the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. Snorre Valen, a Norwegian parliamentarian, nominated him for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize."
If the shoe fits, wear it.
Self publicising prink - check.
Using Wikikeaks for his own ends - check.
Shafting Bradley Manning - check.
Squealing like a pig and refusing to face a legitimate legal enquiry - check. (let's not forget folks the Sweden thing is just to see if there is a case to answer.)
Bail Jumper - check.
Whether he may or may not be a bit rapey is a bit moot right now - he's certainly proving himself a contemptible human being.
The thing is that if you find yourself on the wrong end of plod/mysterious forces/MIB/cash flow situation or someone asking you to try on a holdall in a bath, the precedent has been set.... leggit to an embassy and claim political asylum. Free food, comfy bed, no hassle for a few weeks; I don't know why we don't all do it.
Ah what a gentleman Assange is, as he once implied:
"Not only does a gentleman not tell, not only does a gentleman like to talk about his private life, a gentleman certainly doesn't count."
Do gentlemen run and thus cause their luvvie friends to lose the bail money they put up for him?
This entire thread, with a few brief exceptions, reveals that far too many of us have fallen for the "poisoning the well" technique. Most of the comments and replies are, as far as I can see, completely off topic.
Assange's personality, motives, and sexual mores can be argued indefinitely without ever reaching a definite conclusion. The only thing about him that is really important - to all of us - is that he was instrumental (along with many colleagues and helpers) - in opening up to the public gaze a huge trove of "secret" US government communications. Many of those reveal appalling acts, intentions, and attitudes that we need to know about, whether we are US citizens or not.
Assange is a public benefactor, and we should not allow that fact to be hidden or confused.
"This entire thread, with a few brief exceptions, reveals that far too many of us have fallen for the "poisoning the well" technique. Most of the comments and replies are, as far as I can see, completely off topic."
Yours certainly is. The topic (just to give you a clue) is: Bloke flees justice.
Now admittedly, there is a side-topic. Is bloke being fitted up?
There is a further topic for the amateur psychologists among us to pick over, which is: Is the guy genuinely paranoid, or is he just putting it on for PR? Obviously, as they say, paranoids have enemies too...
"The only thing about him that is really important - to all of us - is that he was instrumental (along with many colleagues and helpers) - in opening up to the public gaze a huge trove of "secret" US government communications. Many of those reveal appalling acts, intentions, and attitudes that we need to know about, whether we are US citizens or not."
Nope. The only important question here is: Is he a bit rapey?
The one thing that isn't in doubt is that he left Sweden while under investigation, and his lawyers knew about it. I don't know if anyone's proved that he knew. That's the only relevant question here, because nothing else can happen while he's in Sweden. He can't be extradited without going through the British courts, and you have to add the Swedish ones to that as well. So all thoughts of evil US machinations can be dropped - other than the idea that maybe they set up 2 Swedish women to make these allegations. That sounds a bit unlikely to me, but the only way we get any chance of finding out if that's genuine, is if he complies with the law, and goes to Sweden to face his accusers.
Finally, as for your bit about the importance of those leaks... Interesting, they certainly were. Important too. Massively newsworthy, and a good resource. Revealing? Not so much. The Afghanistan ones revealed nothing that we didn't know already. There were no incidents of civilian deaths on there that hadn't been in information revealed by NATO, even if not covered in the press. There was nothing shocking about that at all. The Taliban might have found the information on local intelligence sources useful, and may have killed a few of them, but that's pretty hard to prove either way.
The diplomatic cables were a bit more revealing. But there was nothing shocking. Unless you're surprised that diplomats and governments don't always say in public what they're thinking in private. If that shocks you, I suggest you get out more.
"The one thing that isn't in doubt is that he left Sweden while under investigation.
Er no, he left Sweden after he was told he had no case to answer."
John G Imrie,
It is a matter of record. His lawyer had to admit that he'd been in contact with the Swedish authorities, who'd asked him to arrange an interview with Assange.
The lawyer had previously told a different story in both court and press, but had to admit the truth in court. Can't imagine it did much good for his credibility.
As I said above I don't know if it's been proved that the lawyer made this known to Assange before he left the country. I quite carefully limited myself to what is known fact, rather than speculating.
"wanna be in my gang" was a great song, and Gary Gliter was a great showman and singer. Doesn't mean he's a nice guy, as has already been proven in court.
Wikileaks MAY have been acting in the public interest - that doesn't automatically make them good people.
We have a legal system to protect the guilty from persecution - any additional charges will be subject to the same legal system, and attempting to subvert the course of justice is a crime in itself, something Assange is clearly guilty of attempting to do.
"Pretending propaganda doesn't exist means you're either engaged in it yourself or are a cowardly delusional."
As I said. Grow up.
Other people hold different opinions to you. This is normal. It is not necessarily a sign that they are stupid, ignorant, shills or in the pay of foreign governments. Sometimes it is because you are wrong. Other times it is because the situation is complicated, and there can be many valid opinions.
Being unable to accept that the other side in a debate may have a few valid points of their own makes adult discussion impossible.
I'm aware propaganda exists. Assange isn't above using it himself. It's a fact of life. There may be some of it on here, but I severely doubt the US government gives a damn what gets posted on the forums of The Register.
I gave a rational argument. I stated that just because someone holds a different opinion to yourself, this does not necessarily make them a shill.
Further, an acceptance that the other side in a debate may have some valid points and honest motivation is a prerequisite for rational, adult, discussion. As well as being basic good manners.
This requires a certain amount of empathy, as well as an acceptance of one's own fallibility. Plus a mature understanding that most issues are more complex than a simplistic right vs wrong. Admittedly this seems to all be beyond the capacity of people such as Ed Balls, but that's no excuse for you...
Let's try this discussion a different way... And then the whole thing can end with peace, love and as close to universal happiness as we're likely to achieve.
Can you accept that some people disagree with you about Assange? Further, are you willing to accept that some of those people genuinely hold those opinions, and are not shills, spooks, paid PRs or any other kinds of nefarious actors?
"Assange is a public benefactor, and we should not allow that fact to be hidden or confused."
Nor allow that, or his access to expensive lawyers and world media to influence a separate legal point.
Or are rape suspects allowed off-the-hook and get to avoid even questioning on the basis of past good deeds, now?
That's not the way that any legal system should work.
[If it is, I'm owed at least a couple of murders...]
Read the timeline:
Not sure rape was committed - I guess if a woman dropped the rape case, it is highly likely that no "rape" ever took place. I mean, women are very cautious regarding rape cases. The fact that another woman grabs the case and re-opens it has one of two possible reasons:
1. she is a feminist extremist
2. she was asked to
I do not quite know why but I put my penny on 2.
And you wonder why we've got a problem with sexism in IT.
She's shouting rape, so a feminist extremist and/or being made to by someone more powerful than her.
No other possible reason, such as: Someone else came forward accusing the same thing, which persuaded her that there is a better chance of getting the scumbag. This is quite common in the UK, the mindset that "I it's just me I may be mistaken, or there's no chance of getting a successful prosecution", which often changes into "If he's done it to others, I'm going to make sure he can't again."
Don't underestimate how much courage it takes to stand up and say "That was the man that did it to me", when you know every bit of your behavior good/bad/relevant or irrelevant is going to be played out in public.
"Man up" by handing himself over to US lapdogs and soon after "committing suicide"?"
You really, really believe that would happen? That there wouldn't be a worldwide public outcry and that no-one would notice if it happened? You think no-one would be watching out for his welfare?
If he went to Sweden and the next he was on a plan to the US then there would be uproar. If he suddenly died then it would be even more so...
However, we'll never find out as he's currently "on the run", hiding in embassies now and letting down his bail-bond friends.
I agree with Jemima Khan and her comment on Twitter;
"Yes. I had expected him to face the allegations. I am as surprised as anyone by this."
Perhaps he should face his accusers in a legal court over in Sweden.
"If he went to Sweden and the next he was on a plan [sic] to the US then there would be uproar. If he suddenly died then it would be even more so..."
No, there wouldn't. Not even a little bit. Judging by this discussion, half the posters here would cheer, and we are supposed to be a relatively sensible and well-informed bunch.
Have you any idea how many people have suddenly disappeared and wound up tortured, dead, or not all? And how much "outcry" there was?
Sorry to post the famous Goering quote yet again, but maybe some people here haven't seen it. It's extremely relevant (especially the bit at the end about "denouncing the pacifists").
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."
"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."
"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Conversation with Hermann Goering in prison, reported by Gustave Gilbert
that under the extradition terms between Sweden and the UK, Assange could not be subsequently extradited to the US without the UKs permission.
Now whether we give it or not would be another matter. But it's not *that* simple.
I'm genuinely curious as to why people imagine the US has some raging hard-on to have Assange sully their legal system anyway. If they really did, why haven't they already applied to extadite him from the UK ? After all, it's not like we'd say no to that either.
And, from what I seem to remember being explained when all this started, it would be a lot easier for the US to extradite him from here than from Sweded. Due to the UK/US extradition treaty the US would just need to tell the UK that they wanted to charge him and he could be extradited while in Sweden a more "traditional" extradition treaty would require the US to prove to a Swedish court that there was a valid case for him to answer.
@Jimmy, it's been mentioned again and again and again, people who think Assange is a hero, won't listen to anything which calls this into question. I know that I've pretty much given up, some of the conspiracy theories are up there with "we never went to the moon" in terms of plausibility.
"I'm genuinely curious as to why people imagine the US has some raging hard-on to have Assange sully their legal system anyway"
Who said it would sully their legal system? Odds are it'll be a black bag over the head and then the next umpteen years in GitMo held without charge like other foreign nationals ended up after the last Gulf war. His Cuban holiday will involve water and boards but no beaches.
A diplomatic bag isn't literally a bag, it can contain pretty much whatever the embassy want it to contain.
The thing is that if Assange does flee he will have pretty much shot the reputation of Wikileaks, it's tied to him, staff have already left wikileaks and I don't doubt more will leave. He's also left those who paid his bail bond high and dry. There will only be a real hardcore of supporters who subscribe to the more outlandish conspiracies who'll still stand by him.
"A diplomatic bag isn't literally a bag, it can contain pretty much whatever the embassy want it to contain."
However, it is possible to delay the departure of a diplomatic bag. Imagine how long it would be before the 'bag'/crate could be opened in secure premises if, for example, there happened to be a major terrorist scare in Knightsbridge? These things take hours to clear, and the traffic, the people, the noise.... ....to say nothing of the need to urgently search all vehicles in the immediate vicinity of said scare, using armed politzei.
Assange's behaviour is, on the face of it, getting more and more bizarre.
Let's look at the options now.
Go back to Sweden, answer questioning and potentially be prosecuted and fined a few thousand at worst. On the face of it, the logical thing to do. Fine shouldn't be an issue and frankly, most people think the law being used is really rather odd and is certainly (as far as I know), unique to Sweden. A woman being able to retrospectively withdraw consent because he refuses to take a test after an accident (condom broke) is weird. Morally, maybe he should do it, but is it really a crime? Using the term 'rape' as many people do, is certainly nothing more than smear and bigging the crime up enormously. This is the obvious thing to do and is not dangerous in any real way to Assange, so why wouldn't you do it? Even if technically guilty of the crime, you're not looking at any serious punishment and therefore trying to avoid it is massively OTT.
Second option. Assange is not just weird, but bonkers. He is either insane or has some serious mental issues. Now, interestingly, not only might this explain his behaviour, but it would also render him immune from prosecution and probably extradition. Most legal systems treat people with serious medical issues (including mental impairment) quite different to people of sound mind. This can include not prosecuting and sending them to hospital rather than prison for instance. In a case as trivial as this, with a minor fine as a penalty, non-prosecution would be the obvious route. Extradition agreements also often have a clause about the parties state of health and this can prevent extradition. If already mentally impaired, it could be argued the extradition would be dangerous to his health and this would normally stop it.
Third option. Assange is actually right and there is a conspiracy against him, he faces mortal danger etc.etc. In this option, of course Assange would flee. He's effectively trying to escape prosecution and is in essence, a refugee.
So, we know it's not option 1 as he hasn't done that. So, is it option 2 or 3? Either way, he's either right about being perscuted etc., which means we should help him, or he's certifably bonkers, in which case we should help him!! Neither option 2 or 3 would have him turn himself in and neither would suggest a prosecution is in anybodies best interests.
Let me get this straight. An Australian travelling in Europe shags some Swedish birds who get angry when they find out about each other and gang up on him, runs away to London and crashes at his mate's girlfriend's pal's house for a while. After a while, he gets into a bit of trouble, borrows some cash from his pals and then disappears, only to resurface in Ecuador, with a tan?
Well, I definitely didn't see that coming.
Julian in Gitmo, he'd already be there. Numerous cases exist of people being lifted off the streets across europe and sent there.
They want a show trial. Assange wants to milk the publicity machine for all it's worth - and he's damaging the hell out of Wikileaks while he's doing it.
"Julian in Gitmo, he'd already be there. Numerous cases exist of people being lifted off the streets across europe and sent there."
There are. But I can't think of any where the victim was already heavily known and present in the mainstream media. That makes a difference to whether the US will snatch and grab. A big difference.
"...he's damaging the hell out of Wikileaks while he's doing it."
Not really. Sane, reasonable people do not judge a person's important actions by his personality or private life. The concrete and valuable achievements of Wikileaks and Assange are not devalued in the slightest by this ridiculous charade - which, mind you, was only necessitated by the artifically orchestrated witch hunt against him.
As I pointed out earlier, some people have every reason to "poison the well" by attacking Assange's moral character; that is precisely because they can't frustrate what he has done, and stop him from doing more of it, in any other way.
By the way, many comments in this thread have stated that Assange could not be extradited to the USA, or that if he was he would inevitably "enter the justice system" and face a regular court trial with proper safeguards. It is worth noting that in May 2010, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich went on record as saying: "Information terrorism, which leads to people getting killed, is terrorism, and Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant."
That, of course, means that he would have no legal rights at all. Check it out:
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