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Assange and Wikileaks: the basics

2012 August 18
by Ian Welsh

Sigh,

read the actual accusations.  They have been translated into English
.   They are also, straight up, he said, she said, and rest entirely on credibility.  There are no witnesses to the actual acts other than Assange and the two women (who spoke to each other before going to the police) and no physical evidence.  This is not to say that if Assange did what he is accused of he did not do something wrong.  If.  You don’t know if he did, and neither do I.  Only 3 people do.

Assange has not been charged, he is wanted for questioning.  Sweden is refusing to question him in England.  I note that they have questioned a man accused of murder in another country.

The way the case has been treated is vastly disproportionate to how people wanted for questioning about such a crime are usually treated.

Ecuador said they would hand over Assange under one condition: Sweden promised not to extradite him to the US.  Sweden refused.

Sweden engaged in illegal extraditions on behalf of the US in the past, and handed people over to be tortured.  No one has gone to jail for those crimes.  Since no one was punished, I can’t see why Sweden wouldn’t do it again.  Certainly Assange would be a fool to take the chance, because if he winds up in the US he will be thrown into an isolation cell and treated in a way which amounts to torture.  This isn’t in question, the US has done it in other high profile cases.

Anyone who thinks this is just about sexual misconduct…

Yeah.

As for Assange, his long game is simple.  He will run, in absentia, in the next Australian elections.  He is more than popular enough to be elected.  Once he is an MP, he can’t be touched.

What Assange did, with Wikileaks, was engage in actual journalism.  He was the last attempt to play under the rules of the current, corrupt system.  What Wikileaks did was straight up journalism, no different than the Pentagon papers.  Immediately afterwards, VISA, Mastercard and PayPal shut down all donations to Wikileaks, despite the fact that Wikileaks had been convicted of no crime.  If an individual or organization can be shut out of the modern payments without any legal procedings, then there is no rule of law that matters.  It is impossible to live in the modern world beyond a subsistence level if one is shut out of the electronic payments system.

Now Britain has threatened to storm an embassy.  Be assured that if they are stupid enough to do it, British diplomats WILL die as a result.  Even now, with Britain, the US and Canada saying there is no right to asylum, there will be huge consequences.  The entire asylum system is now threatened, because any nation unhappy with someone being offered Asylum in any of those countries will just say “but you said you don’t believe in asylum.  We’re not letting this person out of the country.”

Britain itself has given asylum to people accused of far, far worse crimes than Assange, and yet they are willing to trash the Asylum system over this?  This isn’t about sexual misconduct.  Anyone who is stupid enough to think that anyone not named Assange would have caused Britain to threaten to violate an embassy is too stupid to be allowed out in public.

Correction: I stand corrected.  The charges would amount to rape in the UK.  Or, at least, so the courts have ruled.  You can read the ruling here You can read the argument otherwise here, claimed offense #4 is the key issue.  I tend towards the latter argument, but the courts have determined that it was rape.  Make your own decision.  I have removed text indicating that the allegations would not amount to rape as of 3:25 EDT, Aug 19, 2012.

43 Responses
  1. Andre permalink
    August 18, 2012

    Bush toyed with returning our civilization to the dark ages, but clueless Obama (if he had a clue he would realize what he is doing) it would seem is taking actual steps to return us to that dark segment of history. He’s really a spineless little asshole, or am I being too harsh?

  2. Celsius 233 permalink
    August 18, 2012

    No offense Ian; but this has been hashed about ad infinitum.
    It’s pretty clear that the lines have been drawn and all appeal to reason is no where to be seen…

  3. Antifa permalink
    August 18, 2012

    Britain’s implying that diplomatic or political asylum is a matter of belief or convenience has instantly put every embassy in the world on that basis, as convenience may require. The damage is already done.

    How effortlessly the powers that be throw away the foundation stones of Western civilization, from habeus corpus to the laws of war to diplomatic immunity!

    Ecuador is fortunate to have President Corrente already aware of this lawless approach to international law, and not disposed to back down.

    See: http://rt.com/usa/news/correa-assange-us-latin-318/

  4. August 18, 2012

    Abandoning long-settled law is not uncommon in outbursts of authoritarianism. But it is so pointless! Assange is not worth it. So, then, why…? I think the basic reason is that the US security agencies see their authority threatened.

  5. LorenzoStDuBois permalink
    August 18, 2012

    I think an analysis of what will happen with regards to Ecuador vis-a-vis the US would be an interesting one. Did he just sign himself up to be Hugo Chavez 2.0? Are we to see the launching of a coordinated public relations campaign against his legitimacy, as well as covert operations to overthrow him? Seems to me you can’t choose worse people to piss off, in a more extreme way, than he has done.

    I go to a lot of places online for information on what has happened and what is happening, but I only come here to find out what is GOING to happen. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Wish you posted more frequently!

  6. atcooper permalink
    August 18, 2012

    It had not occurred to me even once his running for office in abesentia. Is he really popular enough to win?

  7. Michael permalink
    August 18, 2012

    Some more information on the extraodinary circumstances sourrounding the assange case.

    http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/

    For the more conspiracy minded among you, more grist for the mill.

    “Dr. Brian Palmer, a social anthropologist at Uppsala University, explained on Kreig’s radio show last month that Karl Rove has been working directly as an advisor to the governing Moderate Party. Kreig also reported, in Connecticut Watchdog, that the Assange accusers’ lawyer is a partner in the law firm Borgström and Bodström, whose other name partner, Thomas Bodström, is a former Swedish Minister of Justice. In that office, Bodström helped approve a 2001 CIA rendition request to Sweden, to allow the CIA to fly two asylum-seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured. This background compels us to review the case against Assange with extreme care.”

  8. harebell permalink
    August 18, 2012

    “Anyone who thinks this is just about sexual misconduct…”
    No it’s not only about sexual misconduct. But that sexual misconduct should not be ignored for whatever anyone deems “the greater Good.” In fact for me the sexual misconduct and the complainants are the main points in this whole sorry affair. Two women claim he broke the law regarding sexual misconduct with them. It doesn’t matter what the UK or USA or even Uganda have on the statutes, he was in Sweden.
    The fact that he was so careless given the uproar about him in the Western world speaks volumes to me too.

    It’s also interesting that there are howls about the UK breaking international law with respect to Diplomatic Law, something they have not done yet but the howls are there none the less; yet when it comes to Assange flouting his extradition after the original hearing and a couple of appeals nothing. Breaking bail and absconding – yet more nothing.

    There can be no picking and choosing, the law is the law. The UK haven’t broken any yet, Assange has and he has had more than a fair hearing in the UK. Anyone else in his situation would have been regarded as a serious flight risk and remanded to custody not a luxury house in the Country.

  9. August 18, 2012

    @The Raven – why? They are sending a message, that’s why. It’s the same reason that Bradley Manning is being treated so harshly despite the fact that the Wikileaks releases hardly constituted a dire blow to U.S. national security. The were merely an embarrassment, and worse yet they have changed nothing in terms of the American public’s support for this country’s insane foreign policies. It’s amazing that with green-on-blue violence exploding in Afghanistan, for example, that the ongoing occupation is not even a blip on the radar screen in the presidential campaign.

    Frankly, if Assange ends up in a Guantanamo-like cell, people ought to think twice about following his lead given that very few even seem to care about real acts of journalism anymore.

  10. jonst permalink
    August 18, 2012

    @hairball….you wrote “There can be no picking and choosing, the law is the law”. If you really believe that…..if you disagree with the assertion that, in fact, “picking and choosing” is EXACTLY what the ‘law’, and the powers behind it, do every minute of every hour of every day….you are a fool.

  11. Radical Livre permalink
    August 18, 2012

    What amazes me is why they are putting so much effort to punish him. They already punished the leaker, mostly neutralized Wikileaks, destroyed Assange’s reputation, and still are not satisfied. I mean, I realize that, like any other criminal outfit, the USG needs to make an example out of anyone who tries to defy its rule, but this is getting ridiculous.

  12. Radical Livre permalink
    August 18, 2012

    Also, I think “rape” is a technically accurate term for the accusations. I mean, if he pretended to have a condom on in order to trick people into letting him have sex without a condom, the sex wasn’t exactly consensual. And even if you think the term “rape” is inaccurate in this situation, it still would be a heinous thing to do.

    That being said, I agree this is a classic “he said, she said” scenario, and there’s absolutely no way to objectively evaluate the truth of the accusations (even the alleged victims’ testimony is unsure, and they talked to each other before going to the police). No court in the world would convict him, and that’s probably why the case was dropped. Until Wikileaks became a threat to the status quo.

  13. Echapp permalink
    August 18, 2012

    It’s also interesting that there are howls about the UK breaking international law with respect to Diplomatic Law, something they have not done yet but the howls are there none the less;

    They said that they would do it. It makes sense to object before the fact rather than after, no?

  14. Mary Mac permalink
    August 18, 2012

    Didn’t one of the women have ties to the CIA? Didn’t the other leave Sweden and is now in Israel? How can anyone call Assange guilty without a trial?

  15. jcapan permalink
    August 18, 2012

    What Bill Hicks said.

  16. Notorious P.A.T. permalink
    August 18, 2012

    “There can be no picking and choosing, the law is the law. ”

    Right, and if Assange turns himself in and ends up in America being tortured, even though torture is illegal here–whoops! Oh well, at least *he* followed the law.

    “sexual misconduct should not be ignored for whatever anyone deems “the greater Good”

    Would you start a war over a case of sexual misconduct? Would you send people to die? Would you destroy innocent lives? Sheesh. Everything has its importance measured in respect to other things, so why should sexual misconduct be any different?

  17. August 18, 2012

    Michael PERMALINK
    August 18, 2012
    Some more information on the extraodinary circumstances sourrounding the assange case.
    http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/

    Talk about a small world. I worked closely with Mark Crispin Miller for 10 years here in Baltimore.

    So much has been said, here and elsewhere, about Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Wikileaks, I don’t know what to add. I only know that the U.S. is increasingly turning into (already is) a police state, that most people don’t give a flying fuck, and that things are going to get worse before they get better.

  18. Celsius 233 permalink
    August 19, 2012

    Lisa Simeone

    August 18, 2012
    So much has been said, here and elsewhere, about Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Wikileaks, I don’t know what to add. I only know that the U.S. is increasingly turning into (already is) a police state, that most people don’t give a flying fuck, and that things are going to get worse before they get better.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    There you go…

  19. jcapan permalink
    August 19, 2012

    If you’re animated by minutiae over the most pressing issues facing the world today …

    [pause for thought]

    … dammit, I got that totally backwards. For a certain class of liberals, what Assange and co. were seeking to expose and destroy is the minutiae–what’s important in their puritan, obfuscatory enterprise are the pecadilloes of one randy bloke.

  20. August 19, 2012

    Never underestimate the vindictiveness of a bureaucracy scorned. That said, the violence of the reaction against Assange by the British Foreign Office, at least partly on behalf of the US, is beginning to convince me that there is some game being played here — is there some upcoming Wikileaks document release that they think they can stop if they can just get Assange in jail?
    Or perhaps the British government ministers are just right-wing idiots after all — imagine how Vic Toews and Kenny would “handle” a situation like this one if it were happening in Canada.

  21. August 19, 2012

    Thanks for this well written summary. One thing that bothers me is how many assume Assange is guilty when he has not been convicted of anything. It’s disgusting that a good man’s life is getting destroyed on nothing but allegations. Is as if these people assume that if you don’t automatically condemn him then you’re condoning the behavior he’s accused of doing.

  22. someofparts permalink
    August 19, 2012

    Thanks. This is why I will always read your site as long as you have one. You cut straight through the crap and bring real motivations into clear focus.

    Of all the people I know in person, I can’t think of a single one who would understand this post.

  23. William Richardson permalink
    August 19, 2012

    Interesting commentary here; Assange should go under due legal process in Sweden, the Embassy law is a mess and counterproductive.

    http://charonqc.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/lawcast-219-carl-gardner-on-the-assange-asylum-issues/

  24. yoda morganstern permalink
    August 19, 2012

    How can all the legal mumbo jumbo be taking place, extradition etc, when Assange hasnt even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one?

  25. Jon permalink
    August 19, 2012

    No offence, Ian, but if you read the court judgments it is very clear that the allegations against Assange *do* amount to rape in UK law and satisfy the dual criminality test. Anyone can read the judgments by going to http://www.bailii.org and searching for Assange.

  26. Ian Welsh permalink*
    August 19, 2012

    Jon,

    read it. I’m not sure I agree, but I’m not a lawyer. Post modified to indicate, with links from Bailii and the case that it wasn’t rape both included.

    Courts have made plenty of rulings that are wrong on the face. I no longer trust them. But again, I do not feel competent, in this case, to assert that for a fact. Readers will have to decide if they agree with the court or not.

  27. Ian Welsh permalink*
    August 19, 2012

    Overthrow the Vienna conventions on this, and a lot of people will die. Guaranteed.

  28. James permalink
    August 19, 2012

    It is time to take the Carl Rove out. He is a fucking dweeb.

  29. James permalink
    August 19, 2012

    It is time to take this Carl Rove out. He is a fucking dweeb.

  30. August 19, 2012

    While i think that Assange is a grandstanding douchebag, and should face consequences if he broke the law in Sweden (which isn’t hard, pretty much everything is illegal in Sweden), this whole thing stinks.

    Given that the UK has refused to extradite Shawn Sullivan to the US for charges of raping children, the “get Assange crowd” on the left should start explaining why it’s so important for Assange to face his alleged crimes in Sweden but they don’t care about the Sullivan case. Then again, it’s shocking to me how many good liberals hate Assange because he somehow hurt the US government by publishing its dirty secrets … and mostly not so juicy secrets. It only suggests to me how willingly my fellow Americans will accept the totalitarian police state.

  31. beowulf permalink
    August 19, 2012

    “Also, I think “rape” is a technically accurate term for the accusations. I mean, if he pretended to have a condom on in order to trick people into letting him have sex without a condom, the sex wasn’t exactly consensual”

    That’s absurd, by the same logic, a woman who induces a man into sex by telling him she’s on the Pill could be charged with rape (after all tricking a someone into sex without using birth control isn’t exactly consensual).

    As for the charge of rape where he wakes the girl up with sex… I can’t imagine a charge ever making it past a probably cause hearing or a grand jury in the US– the easiest way for the alleged victim here to avoid nonconsensual wake up sex would be to refrain from having consensual sex with her assailant the night before and then falling asleep next to him. I’m sensing a certain, what shall we call it… Reasonable Doubt on the question of whether Assange or for that matter the woman, thought it was nonconsensual sex.

    These are such incredibly weak charges (that aren’t worth the bother of sending detectives to the UK to interview Asssnage), there’s on question the Swedes are simply using a police investigation as the stalking horse for some other agenda.

  32. greg permalink
    August 20, 2012

    Assange is really being treated no differently than nations that run afoul of the West. All of the sorts of sanctions that have been brought to bare on nations like Iran and Syria have been arrayed against one man and his company. In a way, this is a shot across the bow of those who would intend to be journalists or whistleblowers while also confirming the status of what passes for the media otherwise.

    I was listening to a Muslim iman here recently who suggested that we live in a world of opposites where truth is scorned and lies are heralded. He analysis is entirely on point as Assange’s troubles really revolve around disclosing some inconvenient truths. The video of the unarmed Iraqi’s being just gunned down is highly disturbing and sullies the sanitized version of the war that’s been sold in the US.

    Again, the Wikileaks being cut off from the payment systems is just like Iran or Syria being cut off from payment and banking systems. That can be done to anyone at anytime. I’m convinced that this message is intended to be sent to all observers. The obvious response is to either reduce reliance on the system or develop an alternative system, but those who do that come under attack as well. The Assange affair should be a wake up call for how far this evil international cabal has gotten in terms of power and is simply a harbinger of what’s to come.

  33. Gracchus Babeuf permalink
    August 20, 2012

    @beowulf
    That’s absurd, by the same logic, a woman who induces a man into sex by telling him she’s on the Pill could be charged with rape (after all tricking a someone into sex without using birth control isn’t exactly consensual).
    What’s so absurd about this? That seems pretty clearly to be rape (if we’re defining “rape” as “non-consensual sex” here).

    the easiest way for the alleged victim here to avoid nonconsensual wake up sex would be to refrain from having consensual sex with her assailant the night before and then falling asleep next to him.
    What the fuck? Falling asleep next to someone you’ve had consensual sex with in the past doesn’t imply consent to future sex! It’s not that hard!

    I can’t imagine a charge ever making it past a probably cause hearing or a grand jury in the US
    That’s because most Americans are massively sexist.

  34. Rob Grigjanis permalink
    August 20, 2012

    @Radical Livre

    What amazes me is why they are putting so much effort to punish him.

    Pour encourager les autres. The message is that you can run, but you cannot hide, and you will be utterly destroyed, if you work against the interests of TPTB.

  35. StewartM permalink
    August 21, 2012

    Ian, don’t you know that with any sort of s-e-x crime the standard of “proven beyond reasonable doubt” gets thrown out the window? People get convicted of sex crimes all the time with nary a shred of examinable physical evidence presented, just based on he/said/she said or he said/he said. In my mind, that shouldn’t even qualify for prosecution.

    Contrast that with politicians, where questioning what they pay in taxes where no there’s no legal risk to them and all that is required is a release of documents becomes a case of “innocent until proven guilty”.

    StewartM

  36. Rob Grigjanis permalink
    August 21, 2012

    @StewartM

    Examples/justification please?

    If we were to speculate on the ratio of men who get away with rape, to men wrongfully convicted of rape, what do you think? I’m guessing 100-1 would be charitable to the second group. I would also guess that race has more to do with wrongful convictions than judicial pro-female gender bias. Evidence-based correction welcomed.

  37. StewartM permalink
    August 21, 2012

    Rob Grigjanis:

    If we were to speculate on the ratio of men who get away with rape, to men wrongfully convicted of rape, what do you think? I’m guessing 100-1 would be charitable to the second group.

    Wouldn’t that ratio be true of a lot other crimes? And whatever happened to the standard of “It’s better than 1000 guilty people go free than one innocent person be wrongly convicted?” Or does standard that only apply when s-e-x is not an issue?

    I said “sex crimes”, not just rape. In that regard, can you tell me any hard physical evidence that was presented in the recent Jerry Sandusky case? (Mind you, I’m no fan of Sandusky, Penn State, or anyone associated with that case, and it is true that Penn State moved to quash the allegations (which by itself does not mean that Sandusky himself was guilty), but it just flabbergasted me that Sandusky could be convicted with testimony only, and have that meet any standard of “beyond reasonable doubt”. It’s the equivalent of convicting someone for murder when there’s no hard evidence that there was even a murder committed).

    But in regards to rape, it’s now considered “rape” if you have sex with someone who appears to consent but is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Now consider this–in every other case with, say, alcohol, if you drink and then drive drunk or drink and then assault someone or drink and do something else which has adverse consequences–well, you’re considered responsible despite being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. After all, (in the vast majority of cases) no one forced you to make that bad decision.

    Not so with s-e-x. If you drink too much and appear to give consent to sex, it’s not your fault, it’s theirs (even if they were drunk too). It’s even rape if you weren’t giving them alcohol and in no way whatsoever was party to getting them intoxicated. That’s my point.

    StewartM

  38. Rob Grigjanis permalink
    August 21, 2012

    And whatever happened to the standard of “It’s better than 1000 guilty people go free than one innocent person be wrongly convicted?”

    I haven’t seen the “1000″ before, but OK. You are saying that rape is treated differently from other crimes, and with favour towards the complainant. I still haven’t seen evidence of that. In fact, the history of rape cases suggests favour has been granted to the accused in most cases.

    But in regards to rape, it’s now considered “rape” if you have sex with someone who appears to consent but is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

    This sentence is interesting, because it implicitly puts the onus on the intoxicated/drunk person. In effect, it is license for men to drug women and have sex with them.

    If you drink too much and appear to give consent to sex, it’s not your fault, it’s theirs (even if they were drunk too).

    Based on cases I have read about, men are cut a lot of slack if they were also drunk. Again, counter-examples are welcome.

    Regarding the Sandusky case: When does evidence become convincing? When a ten-year-old boy staggers into a hospital with Sandusky’s semen leaking from his anus? Do you really think Sandusky was railroaded?

  39. Phoenician in a time of Romans permalink
    August 21, 2012

    Although they’re probably not articulating it clearly to themselves, I think the elites realise that the old means of controlling society through propaganda and illusion are crumbling, and that they are deliberately choosing a more brutalist approach to repressing dissent.

    If Chomsky was just starting out now, he’d probably wind up like Assange.

  40. Celsius 233 permalink
    August 21, 2012

    Phoenician in a time of Romans PERMALINK
    August 21, 2012
    Although they’re probably not articulating it clearly to themselves, I think the elites realise that the old means of controlling society through propaganda and illusion are crumbling, and that they are deliberately choosing a more brutalist approach to repressing dissent.
    If Chomsky was just starting out now, he’d probably wind up like Assange.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That makes a lot of sense and fit’s the process.
    I’ve often wondered about Chomsky’s musings over the years. I think you got that essentially correct as well.

  41. StewartM permalink
    August 22, 2012

    Rob Grigjanis

    This sentence is interesting, because it implicitly puts the onus on the intoxicated/drunk person.This sentence is interesting, because it implicitly puts the onus on the intoxicated/drunk person.

    How is that different than drunk driving? Becoming aggressive and assaulting people when drunk? Having an accident that injures or kills someone when drunk?

    In all the above cases, we still hold the intoxicated person responsible. We say “No one forced you to get drunk, that’s something you did to yourself, and you should bear the consequences of what you did while drunk”. I’ve sat in a courtroom with alcohol-related cases and hear the judge say that very thing to a defendant. Only when you wake up in bed next to someone you’d rather not have woken up to can you blame the other person, legally, for what happened and get away with it.

    This sentence is interesting, because it implicitly puts the onus on the intoxicated/drunk person. In effect, it is license for men to drug women and have sex with them.

    Did you not read that it still applies even if you were not party in any way whatsoever to their getting intoxicated?

    It creates no such license. We’re not talking about the relatively rare instance of someone slipping a drug to someone, unbeknown to them, and against their will, in order to have sex with them. We’re the normal offer of “a drink or two” which women (and men) are perfectly capable of declining, particularly if alcohol causes them to act in ways they might regret otherwise.

    We’d expect that someone who had to drive home should say “No thinks, I have to drive home shortly”. We expect someone who knows they tend to get obnoxious or aggressive or do things because of impaired judgement after a drink or two to decline because of the possible consequences. It’s really falls under the same tent, and is no different. If “a drink or two or three” causes you to wake up the next morning to someone else, then decline the offer.

    Regarding the Sandusky case: When does evidence become convincing? When a ten-year-old boy staggers into a hospital with Sandusky’s semen leaking from his anus? Do you really think Sandusky was railroaded?

    What would you have otherwise? That someone be sent to prison for life on the basis of no examinable evidence, where there is no evidence that a crime even occurred? Would you want to be convicted of child molestation, or murder or whatnot when there was no evidence that even a crime had been committed, period??

    Gawd, in some ways, we Americans deserve the Patriot Act. What was disgusting was how so many “good liberals” who rightfully cry foul when there’s an execution about to occur because of a conviction based on similarly inadequate evidence jumped on this bandwagon.

    Sandusky? If I were sitting on that jury, from what evidence I heard presented, I would think “probably guilty”. But not *guilty beyond reasonable doubt*–which IS the supposed standard that should be applied in criminal cases. We don’t take he said/he said as proof in any other matter, nor should it apply here. Not should it apply to even multiple he said/he said when they related to different instances. Eyewitness testimony and memories can be simply wrong even when there’s no personal agenda at work.

    But just for starters–I mean, in many cases, people who the prosecution claim to be “fixated pedophiles” who molest children also have a stash of child pornography as well. I’m sure that it’s not a hard-and-fast rule for each and every case, and it’s quite possible that someone could have a stash of child pornography and *not* be molesting children as well, but the two often go together. But there was none found on Sandusky. Nor did was it claimed that Sandusky (a teetotaler) plied his victims with drink or drugs in order to molest them (another tactic that “fixated sexual predators” engage in). As for the alleged shower sex scene, that was judged not credible to be admitted into testimony even by the prosecution (and indeed, it wasn’t credible).

    StewartM

  42. August 22, 2012

    When you clear out the noise that surrounds this issue, it’s rather clear. Whatever you think of the revived accusations against JA, iirc, he hasn’t been charged with a crime and it’s ridiculous that the Swedish authorities have refused to interview him either by phone, video, or in person in London.

    Extradiction just to question somebody? C’mon now, the possible sex crime aspect is being used as emotional cover for the obvious political machanations.

  43. Dave Bell permalink
    August 23, 2012

    There are precedents for somebody getting political asylum, and being trapped in the embassy by the host country refusing safe passage (Cardinal Mindszenty, Hungary, 1956). The threat in the letter relies on a UK statute, and buried in that statute is a requirement to stay within the limits of international law (Most of it reads as being about property). There are precedents for the UK to be awkward while this continues, such as blocking changes to the Embassy buildings.

    That letter to the Government of Ecuador looks really stupid.

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