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Author Topic: Julian Assange still hiding  (Read 2168 times)

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Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Julian Assange still hiding
« on: December 11, 2012, 07:00:50 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/07/julian-assange-fugitive-interview

I figured it had been quiet for a while on the Wikileaks front, so I figured I'd see what the morass is.

He's basically hiding in the embassy and left the people who supplied his bail high and dry. They lost their money, and in my opinion he lost a lot of standing by basically fleeing from authorities. He's not proving his innocence. And from what I've read in other sites, this isn't doing his health any good.

I'm not sure, but can the Swedish Government even able to fulfill the promises he requires before he turns himself in. (I don't understand the extradiction procedures that well)

I do know this.. the man left Bradley Manning high and dry. While he kicks back in the embassy with a trio of around the clock bobbies watching for him, Manning has spent the last year or more in extreme restriction conditions. I think, personally, he committed treason BUT he is due to a speedy trial.


Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 07:22:48 PM »
He even looks like a Bond villain...

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 07:25:03 PM »
He even looks like a Bond villain...

He sounds like a rambling loon on interviews. I get the manic depressive vibe from him too. He NEEDS to be pursued and persecuted to feel vindicated. His actions and micromanagement has all but killed Wikileaks, and has driven most of the staff who supported him at the beginning.

Offline Neysha

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 07:40:49 PM »
Regardless of his actions, he seems like an incredibly odious and wicked person in any personal regard.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 07:48:31 PM »
Regardless of his actions, he seems like an incredibly odious and wicked person in any personal regard.

I used, prior to his hideous editing of the guncam footage, to think that he was a man who had SOME redeeming value.. but with that video..then his idiocy with the courts and Wikileaks. (Particularly his treatment of his newspaper allies and Private Manning.)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 08:26:00 PM »
Well, on the guarantees he asked for, the government here (like the UK) has a formal policy of not rendering people on judicial requests to a country where they "would be under risk of getting sentenced to death, or tortured" at their trial. And the foreign secretary here, Mr. Carl Bildt,  pointed to that when asked about the Assange case. But many people clearly realize that's just a way of evading the issue. Surely the U.S. State Dept. or their ambassador to Sweden would never say, on a direct question "yes, he might get sentenced to death and executed after he's tried here"? That's about as likely as Bush saying in 2007 "Well, I admit Saddam most likely had no WMDs". Obviously any answer from the U.S. would be "he is not going to risk a death sentence" which would be a void pledge as soon as the trial starts. And Sweden has a record of acting a bit spinelessly in recent years when it comes to U.S.-led rendition requests of this kind, while the cabinet here very likely want to get Sweden full status as a NATO member down the road - though that second bit isn't being pushed officially, it most likely is behind the scenes and shines through the way defence spending issues are getting presented. Which would not make them eager to displease the U.S. on this.

Plus, Sweden (its recent governments) has a way of not going the full mile to look after the rights of persons who are under her 'protection' abroad (citizens or others). I really don't trust my own government jack shit on this, and as for the judicial ballet itself it looks like there is a lot of prestige flashing on the part of the prosecutors here. They could easily have questioned Assange by a video link, but they have consistently refused. It's like, "we want him here, he's gotta come to ME!" even though there have been no definite summons for a hearing on whether he should be kept in custody yet - formally he's only wanted, at this point, for "providing more information" on that night.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 08:45:35 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 09:29:06 PM »
I don't know about Assange as a person, but I don't think there's anything the least bit "villainous" about his deliberately staying away from an obvious abuse of the justice system designed to shut down WikiLeaks. There's more than enough odium around, and the politically-motivated prosecution of Assange has left its pursuers and their apologists thoroughly soaking in it. This isn't an attempt to bring Assange into the light to prove themselves right and him wrong about the issue of government secrecy: it's a transparently ginned-up attempt to shut him away and shut him up, and he knows it, and he's acting accordingly. So he should. (As for Manning's fate, the people who've put him in extreme lockdown have to answer for their behaviour, the disgrace of which is self-inflicted. Trying to hang that around Assange's neck is raw absurdity.)

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 09:38:56 PM »
I don't know about Assange as a person, but I don't think there's anything the least bit "villainous" about his deliberately staying away from an obvious abuse of the justice system designed to shut down WikiLeaks. There's more than enough odium around, and the politically-motivated prosecution of Assange has left its pursuers and their apologists thoroughly soaking in it. This isn't an attempt to bring Assange into the light to prove themselves right and him wrong about the issue of government secrecy: it's a transparently ginned-up attempt to shut him away and shut him up, and he knows it, and he's acting accordingly. So he should. (As for Manning's fate, the people who've put him in extreme lockdown have to answer for their behaviour, the disgrace of which is self-inflicted. Trying to hang that around Assange's neck is raw absurdity.)

Okay.. on Manning's part.. Assange pledged to support him.. and raised  HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS a day with that.. and you know how much his lawyer got after PUBLICLY shaming Assange? Twenty Grand.. MONTHS after Assange's pledge. He outed names in his releases, said that there was no proof his actions killed people.. he's been a tyrant to the point that several other Co-founders of Wikileaks have left. One even deleted GIGS of material because he wasn't sure that Assange would protect the identity of their sources.

For a man who is all about transparency of the world's governments..he's damn good about protecting HIS privacy.

I wasn't trying to hang ANYTHING on Assange. I said up front.. Manning committed treason. That's my take. Assange .. worse he can get LEGALLY in the US is conspiracy to handle classified documents.. release of information.. nuts.. The DOJ has said not one thing they could charge him with comes in the purview of the death penalty, and the foaming ranting of conservatives who saw nothing wrong with the public disclosure of a US NOC Agent (and the ensuing obfuscation of the men who broke their oaths to maintain secrecy) don't count.

Could Assange go down for a decade for the 'theft' of American documents? Possibly. Death Penalty? He'd have to be a US citizen. He ain't. Most likely the worse thing we could realistically do is declare him persona non grata (which we have with folks like Ian Paisley and such) and bar him from the country.


Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 09:50:39 PM »
Somebody pointed out to me that this case seems to be the first time that prosecutors in Sweden are using the European Arrest Warrant when it's only about initial-stage suspicions (that would need to be worked over and researched to provide grounds for a trial). In the past, they have been quite restrictive with using it, even when the crime was very serious and violent and they had a near-conclusive identification of the guilty person and knew exactly where to get him. There was a case some time ago where a man had been kicked senseless and robbed on board a cruise ship on the Baltic Sea. The police were able to identify with near 100% certainty who had done it and after nearly a year, they got word he was in jail in Ireland for another crime. The prosecutor who had the abuse case on his table gave a shrug: "Look, we can't ask for extradition every time we have a drunken brawl of this sort and a likely suspect, now can we?" - and did nothing.

Quote from: Callie Del Noire
For a man who is all about transparency of the world's governments..he's damn good about protecting HIS privacy.

There's nothing strange about someone deciding that he can't count on getting a fair trial. Nor about someone taking into account that he might be labeled an "illegal combatant" or something just as flimsy. Creative handling of justice is nothing new.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 10:04:27 PM »
Had he stayed in Sweden.. odds are he'd be done by now. I don't know about Swedish assault laws.. but the US ones would most likely have cleared him. I heard Sweden is more strict in that area.

I honestly think had he stayed, met and talked with the authorities.. it would have never gone this far. I think the warrant for him was at least in part due to the fact that he made the authorities look bad in the news.



And just so you guys know.. I'm ashamed of how Private Manning is being held. It's unconscionable that it has: A. Taken this long to get to court. B. That they kept him in isolation like they have for as long as they have. He might have committed treason but we have a responsibility to follow the precedents of law.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 10:11:30 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 10:12:00 PM »
I dunno, I see these laundry-lists of supposed evils and none of it is all that convincing to me as being something we should be more concerned about than the evils and abuses of secrecy that WikiLeaks exposed:

- The "Bradley Manning is a traitor" stuff doesn't wash or is at minimum extremely questionable from where I'm standing (and Washington would need to put the people responsible for the Valerie Plame scandal in the dock to regain the authority to talk about "treason" with any coherency, which is one reason they haven't gone there... EDIT: correction, they did eventually charge him with "aiding the enemy," a potential death-penalty charge, so I guess they pretty much have gone there -- I guess we'll see if they can make it stick).
- I'm very dubious about your seemingly uncritical acceptance of the "blood on his hands" claims about Assange and WikiLeaks -- the underlying realities of such things aren't as straightforward as you keep trying to imply -- and (harking back to a prior thread) I don't particularly buy the outrage about the "Collateral Murder" video that implies there was some broader context edited out that would have made everything in that video okay (there isn't).
- I can find no reference to your claims about WikiLeaks fundraising and Manning -- the WikiLeaks fundraising I'm aware of has had Manning as one among a number of priorities being fundraised for, among them a financial blockade aimed at completely shuttering the site -- and I can find nothing terribly unexpected in that interpersonal stresses should arise among the staff of an organization placed under that kind of pressure. Aside from the bail money (notice only a handful of donors have quibbled about it -- for most of them the goal was to thwart a clearly warped misuse of judicial powers) the major scandal I'm aware of WikiLeaks being connected to is that it started putting up a donation "paywall" around its content, enraging those members of "Anonymous" who may not quite understand what a "financial blockade" really is.

Basically your attempts to interpret everything and anything connected with either Assange or WikiLeaks with the maximum level of antipathy seem to me to be overwrought, and to be warping your perspective and priorities. You seem to really really want Assange to be the villain of the piece; I don't think it's likely to work out that way, though. Or if it does, it will only be for whatever span of time we decide to pretend that we can turn a blind eye to the ongoing abuse of government secrecy.

[EDIT: To bring the point across a little more fully, compare and contrast a sampling of what WikiLeaks' disclosures actually exposed:

- Bipartisan American efforts to quash international torture probes.
- Attempts to hide 15,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.
- Secret orders allowing US to ignore abuses including electrocution and rape by "friendly" Iraqi security forces.
- US forces opening fire on Reuters journalists.
- American pressure on Allies to shelter CIA assets from prosecution for torture and rendition.
- Deeply-compromised and directionless nature of an Afghanistan war that, like Iraq and Vietnam before it, was being presented falsely to the public.

And so on. And compared to stuff like this, I'm supposed to be impressed that oh my goodness, maybe Julian isn't a nice guy? It's pretty clear who the worse criminals are, here. At the end of the day I really don't give much of a toss about Assange's supposed foibles or the ins and outs of his sex life or office relationships. There are bigger fish to fry... and they're clearly eager to distract the citizenry from the skillet...)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 10:28:19 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 10:44:22 PM »
- The "Bradley Manning is a traitor" stuff doesn't wash or is at minimum extremely questionable from where I'm standing (and Washington would need to put the people responsible for the Valerie Plame scandal in the dock to regain the authority to talk about "treason" with any coherency, which is one reason they haven't gone there... EDIT: correction, they did eventually charge him with "aiding the enemy," a potential death-penalty charge, so I guess they pretty much have gone there -- I guess we'll see if they can make it stick).

Agreed. Plame's  exposure risked her life and most certainly got people she met with, possibly recruited, and who had worked for the US.. KILLED. Period. That was treason. The problem is that the greasiest VP I can think of was all set to protect HIS people over a little thing like violating Federal Law, getting intelligence assets killed and setting back CIA recruitment efforts back YEARS in those regions.

I personally think Dick Chaney and Karl Rove need to be in prison. I know a few HUNDRED servicemen who agree with me.

- I'm very dubious about your seemingly uncritical acceptance of the "blood on his hands" claims about Assange and WikiLeaks -- the underlying realities of such things aren't as straightforward as you keep trying to imply -- and (harking back to a prior thread) I don't particularly buy the outrage about the "Collateral Murder" video that implies there was some broader context edited out that would have made everything in that video okay (there isn't).
- I can find no reference to your claims about WikiLeaks fundraising and Manning -- the WikiLeaks fundraising I'm aware of has had Manning as one among a number of priorities being fundraised for, among them a financial blockade aimed at completely shuttering the site -- and I can find nothing terribly unexpected in that interpersonal stresses should arise among the staff of an organization placed under that kind of pressure. Aside from the bail money (notice only a handful of donors have quibbled about it -- for most of them the goal was to thwart a clearly warped misuse of judicial powers) the major scandal I'm aware of WikiLeaks being connected to is that it started putting up a donation "paywall" around its content, enraging those members of "Anonymous" who may not quite understand what a "financial blockade" really is.

Basically your attempts to interpret everything and anything connected with either Assange or WikiLeaks with the maximum level of antipathy seem to me to be overwrought, and to be warping your perspective and priorities. You seem to really really want Assange to be the villain of the piece; I don't think it's likely to work out that way, though. Or if it does, it will only be for whatever span of time we decide to pretend that we can turn a blind eye to the ongoing abuse of government secrecy.

As for the abuse of government secrecy .. I think he damaged in the release of those cables what little diplomatic confidence anyone in the region had with us after 8 years of George Bush. You don't tell the neighbors that you're talking about that.. and by revealing that Iran scares EVERYONE in the Gulf states to the point they tentative SUPPORT an Israeli airstrike is doing just that.

As for 'Collateral Murder'. I find it interesting that the entire MISSION tape was cut down to a 30 and 17 minute videos.

And what I mean by failure to support Manning is this.. till Manning's LAWYER went to the press.. Assange hadn't given ONE DIME to Manning's defense.

Having held a Secret and Top Secret clearance, I know there is a 'need to know' and that the difference between that and 'abuse' is very very very close. That is why we got oversight and such. It has gotten even more delicate since 9/11. I disagree with some of the measures.. such as the atrocity named the 'Patriot Act'. 

We, the people, have let fear drive us for 11 years.

Assange has an axe and an agenda with the Bush Administration and he set out to punish us for re-electing him. If I was the president.. I'd let the State Department declare him persona non grata and be done with it. We're empowering his ego by doing this. A simple 'we won't pursue this action' would things go away. And he do NOT want that.

I respected Assange in 06 when he came out with the revelation of an assassination order issued by Shiek Hassan Dahir Aweys. Not to mention his revelation of Kenyan politician Daniel arap Moi 's corruption. His leaking of Icelandic banking memos might have help trigger their financial crisis.. (which I seriously doubt.. at best he may have accelerated it)

I respect the aim of Wikileaks but I don't think Assange is the best fit for it. He has an advisory panel, many of whom have left over differences and the fact that he doesn't listen to them.

Lastly.. what lasting good comes out of publishing documents like the JDAM bomb hardware usage and maintenance manual? If someone leaked the methodology and construction criteria for a WMD would it be already to let that data go free?

As for 'I didn't kill anyone with my leaks' crap.. I didn't believe it with the Plame case.. why should I believe it with his leaks?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7917955/Wikileaks-Afghanistan-Taliban-hunting-down-informants.html
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 10:46:24 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 06:54:01 AM »
I dunno, I see these laundry-lists of supposed evils and none of it is all that convincing to me as being something we should be more concerned about than the evils and abuses of secrecy that WikiLeaks exposed:

<snip>

And so on. And compared to stuff like this, I'm supposed to be impressed that oh my goodness, maybe Julian isn't a nice guy? It's pretty clear who the worse criminals are, here. At the end of the day I really don't give much of a toss about Assange's supposed foibles or the ins and outs of his sex life or office relationships. There are bigger fish to fry... and they're clearly eager to distract the citizenry from the skillet...)

Seriously?  I'm not a Swedish prosecutor, lawyer, law expert, hell, even citizen.  So I have no idea whatsoever whether his "foible" is legally rape or not.  I know thats how its commonly referred to and perhaps there are conclusions that can be drawn from that or perhaps not.  But you can't say "this guy exposed crimes therefore he should be immune to prosecution"  Regardless of whether you think he was right or wrong to release all that information - I personally disagree with it but I accept there are very good reasons for thinking it was right - the simple fact is that he is suspected to have comitted crimes in Sweden and Sweden, justly, wants to prosecute.  Sure, there are political factors and maybe they're stronger than the desire to prosecute internal crimes.  But you know how he could have avoided this?  Not raping people.  Simple. 

The law applies to everyone and doing one "good" thing - and even that isn't cut and dried - can't allow you to do whatever the hell you feel like afterwards.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2012, 07:52:46 AM »
Most likely the worse thing we could realistically do is declare him persona non grata (which we have with folks like Ian Paisley and such) and bar him from the country.

I'm thinking the worst that could realistically happen to him is he disappears into a secret CIA prison somewhere, never to be seen again. These days, if I thought the Feds had a beef with me there aren't many lengths I wouldn't go to to stay out of their grasp.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2012, 08:19:16 AM »
I'm thinking the worst that could realistically happen to him is he disappears into a secret CIA prison somewhere, never to be seen again. These days, if I thought the Feds had a beef with me there aren't many lengths I wouldn't go to to stay out of their grasp.

Okay allow me to rephrase.  Most likely the worse thing we SHOULD realistically do is declare him persona non grata (which we have with folks like Ian Paisley and such) and bar him from the country.

I did say realistic before. To rendition him to any form of imprisionment would be politically stupid.

We shouldn't empower his persecution complex. And want to bet if we did, that he'd still findable reason NOT to turn himself in?

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2012, 08:22:02 AM »
We shouldn't empower his persecution complex. And want to bet if we did, that he'd still findable reason NOT to turn himself in?

If we rendered him he would find a reason not to turn himself in? Wouldn't it be too late at that point?

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2012, 08:52:40 AM »
If we rendered him he would find a reason not to turn himself in? Wouldn't it be too late at that point?

I meant the charges the SWEDES want him on. remember those? If the Stae Department publicly affirmed that the US would persue no extradiction I'd bet he'd find a reason NOT to turn himself in.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2012, 09:09:38 AM »
I meant the charges the SWEDES want him on. remember those? If the Stae Department publicly affirmed that the US would persue no extradiction I'd bet he'd find a reason NOT to turn himself in.

If the U.S. State Department publicly affirmed they wouldn't pursue extradition, there'd be no reason to believe them. He would need something in writing from the Swedes that they wouldn't grant extradition no matter what.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2012, 09:25:00 AM »
I meant the charges the SWEDES want him on. remember those? If the Stae Department publicly affirmed that the US would persue no extradiction I'd bet he'd find a reason NOT to turn himself in.

But the U.S. state department making a clear and binding pledge not to pursue his extradition, that's just not going to happen. He's too hot property -and last time I checked it was the courts who would seek extradition of somebody, not the state. And the U:S. executive branch is not going to want to be seen as giving orders to the courts on what they can and cannot do, is it?
Plus, as I've already put it, the US are never going to answer a direct question about what fate Assange might risk if he were tried under US law by "Well, there is a slim chance he could be sentenced to death of course". That's just not happening, but nor is the Swedish government ever going to press Hillary Clinton hard on honesty in that direction. Neither side would want to commit to anything that could create trouble if the US should ask to have him extradited from Sweden - and the U.S: could legally ask for that even if he was acquitted for the sex assault charges here.

I'd add that sexual assault and rape, and suspicions/stories of them, are sometimes, lately, as ideologically loaded in Sweden as gay marriage and gun rights are in America. I'm not saying he's been the victim of the classic kind of honey trap, but there is a vociferous opinion around here whose people plainly want him jailed for rape no matter what, even though they are not very concerned about the WL site and what's happened around it. There's also a lot of political opinion here that see him and WL as a nuisance. The sex accusations have been flimsy and they were changed around a couple times by the law people but rape/asault trials here are sometimes conducted in a flimsy way too, and can be susceptible to public pressure and media campaigns.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 09:29:23 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2012, 09:35:30 AM »
If the U.S. State Department publicly affirmed they wouldn't pursue extradition, there'd be no reason to believe them. He would need something in writing from the Swedes that they wouldn't grant extradition no matter what.

Using THAT logic it could be argued that there is NO one anywhere he could trust. 

I'm sorry, you could have easily said that the Swedish government, and judiciary, could not be trusted either. There is only so much diplomatic capital any government would be willing to risk on one man. If the US can't be trusted to keep their word on something this small who would trust us in bigger affairs? 

He,Asssange, won't go willing to Sweden..I bet that.. No matter WHAT concessions the US, Swedish or even EU governments make on extradition. He will find other reasons to refuse.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2012, 09:44:06 AM »
I'm sorry, you could have easily said that the Swedish government, and judiciary, could not be trusted either.

The Swedes don't have a history of kidnapping other countries' citizens, imprisoning them in third countries & torturing them. I'm willing to trust them a little farther.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2012, 09:48:11 AM »
The Swedes don't have a history of kidnapping other countries' citizens, imprisoning them in third countries & torturing them. I'm willing to trust them a little farther.

By that logic, what's stopping the US from kidnapping him even if the Swedes guarantee he won't be extradited?

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2012, 09:53:49 AM »
The Swedes don't have a history of kidnapping other countries' citizens, imprisoning them in third countries & torturing them. I'm willing to trust them a little farther.

Question is...will he?  I'm sorry but Assange doesn't strike me as the type to accept the blame for anything. I've read how he treated the staff at the Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel as well as his peers within Wikileaks. I've listed to several interviews with the media that he's given as well as reading his writing in the past.

Nowhere does he accept ANY blame or admit fault for ANYTHING it is always someone else's fault or mistake. No one gives Julian Assange a fair shake or his due.

Do you know he is considering running for office?

http://www.news.com.au/national/julian-assange-confirms-bid-for-australian-senate/story-fncynjr2-1226535741180




Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2012, 09:56:52 AM »
By that logic, what's stopping the US from kidnapping him even if the Swedes guarantee he won't be extradited?

Or simply raid the Embassy he is in now and rendition him to points mysterious? The building is hardly a fortress and clearly we'd lose diplomatic standing by violating Ecuadorian law than EU sovereignty.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Julian Assange still hiding
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2012, 09:59:25 AM »
By that logic, what's stopping the US from kidnapping him even if the Swedes guarantee he won't be extradited?


It would look a lot messier if the U.S. (or UK special forces) made a commando raid, went into the Ecuadorean Embassy and extracted him. A legal rendition after he'd been tried in Sweden, the ordinary procedure, would look much cleaner, especially at the time - because neither counbtry would have to admit that he might risk a death sentence - or, let's say, life imprisonment,

As for "too big a loss of face to the US" I've learnt over time that one doesn't have to buy statements from media pundits to the effect that "this simply couldn't be done, it would be far too awkward or difficult to arrange".