Have we met?
"aiding the enemy"
Aiding us, in other words.
Forensic experts have testified to a military court that they traced breaches of the US government’s secret intelligence database back to Pfc Bradley Manning - who is on trial for leaking classified files to whistleblower website Wikileaks. In written testimony, National Security Agency contractor Steven Buchanan said that …
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Those nice folks torture and kill some of their POWs (in violation of essentially any law), they allow their fellow soldier and fellow national to be tortured for an alleged transgression. Ultimately, this culture of brutality will hit themselves. Actually, it already does in the case of Manning (if all that is true). Canaris was tortured to death by a system which violated all sorts of laws in the name of some "higher" objectives. In other words, Canaris and Manning had to suffer the practices which they helped to establish and sustain.
I bet that embassy he dosses in has one hell of a knackered-out futon by now! Smelly too possibly!
At least he's not sleeping in a windowless cell like Mr Manning. Give the poor chap a window ffs and no I don't mean Windows 8! The dude has enough problems!
3M in feb was it? fuck me, that would have been better spent catching more dangerous criminals.
That's what we have police for. You'd hope that all suspects and criminals would cooperate, and help us save cash, but sadly not.... You can't just let people off because they're making things a bit awkward for the plod.
Also, he is accused of a violent crime. i.e. Rape. OK it's not as serious as some other rapes (although I seem to recall Ken Clarke got into trouble for saying that). He's not accused of using violence, but he is accused of using physical force. The police prioritise what crimes to spend resources on, and rape ought to be near the top of the list.
(Even the ones that can't be verified)
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
- Goerring (allegedly)
Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. 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 greater danger.
- Goering again (true, apparently)
"Not my stone, not my shoe."
Perfect. Even the government have given up caring about the idiot, finally. Who cares what happens? If he steps outside the door, he's nicked, and we convict him of skipping bail (totally true and legitimate) and then do whatever we are told to do (e.g. hand him off to another country, etc.). If he doesn't step outside? Not our problem. If you try to smuggle him outside, you know we'll just have words about aiding and abetting a criminal to avoid justice in the host country, pretty serious stuff that'll take a lot of "trade agreements" to fix.
At no point was Assange ever our problem but while we gave him press, he was in the eyes of the average person. Ignore him. Let him be uncomfortable as "unfree" for as long as possible, and when he comes out we'll punish him even more with no due consideration to how long he's "imprisoned" himself (because we followed every single law we or the EU had on how to handle him, and he still skipped bail, so sod him). All the idiot has done is annoyed another country, dug himself into a deeper hole, cost more taxpayer's money, and removed his own freedom.
This is an even better solution than playing legal games, expelling ambassadors, etc. to get at him. Let him rot in a prison of his own making until even the prison guards get sick of him and throw him out. And THEN convict him properly and jail him AND STILL hand him off to Sweden as we're required to.
The truckload of cash wouldn't be spent if he hadn't absconded his bail. And now he's definitely a criminal, that we know where he is, and can prove his crime in a second (and a crime of contempt of court, at that) of course he should be caught.
Did you question how much it costs to investigate the speeding-ticket of the minister who palmed it off on his wife and then (almost) committed contempt by denying it ever happened for years? No.
The cost of convicting him is neither here nor there because, on the larger scale of things, it doesn't matter compared to people thinking they can just hole in an embassy, thumb their nose at the judge, and escape whatever law they've broken. And the only person INCURRING those costs is the now-a-definite-criminal Assange. If they let him walk out through the front door because "it costs a lot", what message does that send to other criminals.
Let's just riot, and then hide in the embassy for a month, because that works...
I imagine we'll be recouping most of that cost from some very favourable trade agreements with a certain new ambassador very soon.
What's the Spanish Inquisition got to do with anything? I didn't expect that to come up in this conversation...
Assange came to my country, and pissed about for months (partly at my expense) in a pointless court battle, when the law was very clear that he had no choice but to go back to Sweden and face the police. I happen to disagree with that law - I don't think the European Arrest Warrant is a good idea. But it's a perfectly reasonable bit of legislation. As happens our judges decided to be extra good, and pointed out that even under the old extradition system (which I do approve of), he'd still have been sent back to Sweden. He then decided that even after 4 appeals, he was too special to go back and face the rape allegations. So as well as wasting even more of my tax money, he decided to show his gratitude to his 'friends' that bailed him out, by pissing their money up the wall too. And buggered off the Ecuadorian embassy. Well I have no sympathy for him now!
He can sod off back to Sweden, another country he decided he has no gratitude for. It was apparently a safe haven, and worthy of having him as a citizen. Until he got a bit too frisky with the locals, or so the allegations go. Whether they're true, I've no idea, but he's gone to pretty great lengths to avoid facing those allegations, which makes me suspect his motives aren't pure.
Given he published the names of local villagers in Afghanistan who'd given information to NATO troops, without apparently caring whether they got murdered for their pains, I find myself even less likely to give a damn about what happens to him. Some of that information was along the lines of "the landmines round our village are here, please can you clear them" - but according to St Julian they should have no rights. Obviously that same doesn't apply to him... I do believe he should have rights. We've given them to him. He's abused them. If he helped Manning hack into US files, then he's committed a crime and I've no sympathy in the unlikely even the US government catch up with him and try him. If all he did was publish the stuff, then I believe the US have little to nothing on him.
I have to agree with you AC, whilst some of the data was merely embarrassing to the US (and others) I certainly think classified data was released which could have been considered to have 'aided the enemy'.
As to Assange he should just go and sort out the allegations in Sweden. The idea that its is all a secret plan to extradite him to the US is just ludicrous.
Yeah, if he killed and raped a few barbarians like his fellows, that would have been plenty OK. Instead, he did the unforgivable offence of exposing the dirty deeds of the Empire. That must be punished by torture and twisting the law !
See what heros do:
And they will get three years plus parole for that.
The linked Independent article is interesting, if accurate. With leaks from both sides.
When the situation first blew up, and Ecuador gave him asylum, I remember reading Charles Crawford's blog. He's an ex ambassador who's gone into mediation and consultancy since leaving the FCO. An interesting chap, even if he does seem to have invented the word 'blogoir' (half memoir half blog) for which I'm sure he'll burn in hell... Anyway he said that Ecuador were deliberately limiting their own room for manoeuvre. As a diplomatic tactic you turn the rhetoric up to 11, and make your position much harder to back down from, in the hope that the other side will still want to settle, so will have to give you extra concessions.
Whatever our ambassador said to their government, the mistake was probably in giving them the written note (called speaking notes according to Crawford), which they then got to wave about, and say how we'd wronged them, and threatened them. Perfect excuse to get all shrill and give asylum. Now it appears they want to deal, or the FCO are maybe trying to make it look like that... But there's not much deal the UK government can offer. The Foreign Office can't tell the courts or police what to do, and can't give legal guarantees of future behaviour of the courts. So all they can do is make some nice statements about how lovely Ecuador are. Which I'm sure they'll do gladly.
I guess for the FCO it's easy. Sure the police have to spend all this cash, but it doesn't come out of their budget, and catching criminals is what the police are paid for. So long as the Home Secretary isn't giving them permanent earache, it's no skin off their rosy noses. As for Ecuador, they've got a big Aussie taking up their sofa, in quite a small embassy. And perhaps they've finally got it through their thick skulls that the UK can't back down, as the courts in this country are pretty non-politicised.
Sanctuary in embassies is apparently standard practise in South America, but not accepted as normal in Europe. But Ecuador's government played this up for domestic consumption, and now have to try to avoid losing face, if they let him out. Because their embassy is so small, they can't just ignore the problem, otherwise they could probably just forget about it. I wonder if they're trying to link it to the Falklands issue? If they could get a concession (or pretence of one) on that, then they could say it was a deal, kick Julian out the door, and weren't they clever for helping outfox those evil imperialist British pig-dogs and help brother South Americans...
"Forensic experts have testified ..."
"...He was traced by his username and network IP address ..."
Really? Looking in the logfiles required 'forensic experts'?
And he was using his own assigned username and IP address. So not exactly a master hacker. How about if you don't want random Privates looking through classified diplomatic data that isn't relevant to his job, you don't give his assigned username access to it? Then again, these are the same people who allegedly setup 'secure' servers with default or blank passwords then cite hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs needed to secure the systems after someone traipses through it looking for UFOs...
Not saying he was right or wrong to leak the documents but shouldn't the security experts be looking to, you know, actually secure their systems rather than complain when people access things they shouldn't?
Exactly, a nineteen year old sexually confused kid gets seconded to 'intelligence' as he's no good as a soldier. Then told to sit at a desk and trawl through boring data. The kid gets bored, sticks in a mem stick and copies a raft of sensitive data and decides to be the hero.
The real crims here are Assange (for leaving in the names of innocents) and the useless sysadmins who didn't bother to bolt down their systems.
What goes around comes around. It doesn't matter what you opinion is of Manny or the military or the U.S. government. The fact is he illegal disclosed secret documents/information and he will be prosecuted like any other criminal who leaks secret information that has likely resulted in the dealths of many operatives working to protect the naive meatheads who have no clue how the world actually operates.