Assange’s Special Asylum: Why Ecuador Isn’t Nice to Anyone Else

The government of Rafael Correa extends its hospitality to the WikiLeaks founder but is accused of harassing unfriendly journalists and may extradite a whistle-blower from Belarus to face grave charges in the country described as "Europe's last dictatorship"

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San Tan / AP

British police officers arrest a protester in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in front of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Aug. 16, 2012

Like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Alexander Barankov has worked to expose government misconduct via the Internet. Both men have received refuge on Ecuadorian territory. But while the South American country made world headlines granting Assange diplomatic asylum on Thursday morning, Barankov faces imminent extradition from Ecuador to its new ally Belarus, described by most observers as “Europe’s last dictatorship.”

At an hour after dawn on Thursday, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño told a packed auditorium that, as expected, his government had decided to provide asylum to Assange. “We believe that there are indications that allow us to presume a risk of political persecution, or that this persecution could occur if opportune and necessary measures aren’t taken to avoid them,” Patiño said. Ecuador says it shares Assange’s fear that extradition to Sweden could lead to his subsequent rendition to the U.S., where he says he could be tried for espionage and sentenced to death. The U.S. has refused to provide information to Ecuador on whether Assange would face trial on American soil and Sweden gave no assurance that it would not send Assange in that direction. Patiño did not explain how Assange could safely leave Ecuador’s embassy in London, where the Australian has been in residence since mid-June in order to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning for alleged sexual abuse. In Stockholm, the Swedish Foreign Ministry called in Ecuador’s ambassador to “tell [him] that it’s unacceptable that Ecuador is trying to stop the Swedish judicial process,” said Anders Jorle, the ministry’s spokesman.

(MORE: WikiLeaks’ War on Secrecy: Truth’s Consequences)

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has maintained that it plans to follow through with extraditing Assange. While the FCO has released a statement stating that they “remain committed to a negotiated solution,” it also asserted that the U.K. was “disappointed” with the political asylum offered to Assange. “Under our law, with Mr. Assange having exhausted all options of appeal, the British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden. We shall carry out that obligation.”

It’s the U.K.’s plan to uphold that obligation that poses the biggest problem for Assange. While he’s still tucked away in the Ecuadorian embassy for now, leaving the protected premises won’t be easy, according to Rebecca Niblock, a U.K. extradition lawyer with London-based firm Kingsley Napley. “As soon as he steps foot out of the embassy, they are going to arrest him and they are entitled to use reasonable force to arrest him. So right now he can’t leave the embassy.”

Niblock also points out that the U.K. has suggested that the embassy’s protected status could be at stake. The FCO has cited the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, which, if called on, could allow the U.K. to revoke the embassy’s diplomatic status. “There are some impediments to using it,” she adds, “which are that the Foreign Secretary has to be satisfied that what they are doing is permissible in international law, and the Vienna Convention is quite strongly worded. It says that the premises of the embassy are inviolable and it goes further than that and says that the receiving state — the U.K. — is under a duty to protect the premises from damage or intrusion. It’s hard to see how that could be reconciled with going into the embassy to arrest him.”

Niblock warns that such a strategy would be diplomatically dicey for the U.K. “It would set such a dangerous precedent to enter the embassy. You know, the U.K. obviously has diplomats all over the world and if one country starts saying, ‘Oh, that’s an exception,’ then [it could set a precedent]. You know, the Chinese didn’t go in to arrest Chen Guangcheng from the American embassy. For the U.K. to do that would be very difficult practically and legally.”

The stage remains set for a long standoff like that of Peruvian politician Raúl Haya de la Torre, granted asylum by Colombia but not permitted to leave by Peru for five years from October 1948. The Colombian embassy in Lima however is a palace with considerable gardens, unlike the midsize apartment in London’s Knightsbridge neighborhood where Assange has only a room with a bed, desk, and one window to the outside. His lawyer Baltasar Garzón — who became famous when he asked the U.K. to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to Spain in 1998 — has said that Assange is willing to stay on until the situation is resolved, possibly by way of a lawsuit before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague. The ICJ ruled in 1950 that Colombia could grant asylum to Haya de la Torre, but also that Peru had no obligation to allow him safe passage to Bogotá.

(PHOTOS: Inside WikiLeaks’ Bunker)

European diplomats in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, said the Latin American practice of asylum differs vastly from that in Europe. British Foreign Minister William Hague said the U.K. doesn’t recognize diplomatic asylum at all. Garzón says that the U.K. has no reason not to allow Assange to leave for Ecuador given that the WikiLeaks founder is willing to meet Swedish prosecutors anywhere except Sweden. Stockholm, however, refused the Ecuadorian offer to question him at the embassy.

Unless he decides to leave the embassy, whereupon he faces immediate arrest, Assange can now expect to remain there at least through Ecuador’s presidential election scheduled for Feb. 20, 2013, although that date has been put into question this month by a massive scandal over fraudulent registration of political parties. President Rafael Correa’s leftist administration has been using the controversy to tweak the U.S. and the West in order to bolster its own popular standing in Ecuador.

Protecting Assange allows Quito to deflect some of the scathing international and domestic criticism of the government’s campaign against private media. “Julian Assange is a media professional internationally decorated for his fight in favor of freedom of expression,” Patiño said. Organizations critical of the Correa government, including Reporters Without Borders and the indigenous confederation CONAIE applauded the decision — to a certain extent. “At the same time,” said CONAIE head Humberto Cholango, “we denounce the immense contradiction and double standard with which President Rafael Correa acts, who inside the country insults, pursues and prosecutes indigenous leaders and social activists as terrorists.”

Indeed, the hospitality that Ecuador extends to Assange is withheld from Ecuadorians who may try to emulate his online whistle-blowing tactics. Since Assange entered the embassy, Ecuador’s government has scrapped the need for a warrant to investigate private Internet Protocol addresses. Additionally, for the second time in 18 months, on July 31 government officials and police seized the computers of the newsmagazine Vanguardia, which has been critical of the Correa Administration. The charge: that the publication had violated labor laws. As a result, Vanguardia only managed to go to print this week with the help of donated computers.

The plight of Barankov poses a real test of Ecuador’s commitment to human rights. A former Belarusian army captain, Barankov arrived in Quito in 2008 thanks to the Ecuadorian government’s very liberal immigration laws. He then set up a blog denouncing corruption and other crimes allegedly committed under authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. Ecuador initially granted him refugee status, but after a state visit by Lukashenko to Quito on June 29, he was arrested and is being held in the capital’s infamous, 19th century prison while the top court hears the case on Belarus’ fresh extradition request. If sent there, according to his partner, Maribel Andrade, he will face charges of treason and could be put to death.

— With reporting by Megan Gibson / London

MORE: Why Is Ecuador Julian Assange’s Choice for Asylum?

67 comments
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Yuri Cherniakov
Yuri Cherniakov

To the President of Ecuador Mr Rafael Correa Re: Alexandr Barankov

Hide DetailsFROM:Yuri CherniakovTO:eecugranbretania@mmrree.gob.ecMessage flaggedWednesday, 22 August 2012, 1:39

To The President of Ecuador Mr Rafael CorreaDear Mr Correa,I am pleading with you not to allow extradition Mr Alekandr Barankov to Belarus.I am Belarussian myself and have left the country in 1990 - I can assure you that  if Barankov is sent back to Belarus he would be prosecuted and shot, like many others who simply disappeared under Mr Lukashenko's rule.Please do not allow Barankov  to be extradited to Belarus, I am pleading with you from humanitarian pointYours sincerely, Yuri Cherniakov

Tel 0161 746 74 76 

Mob 079096559888 The CircleBarton RoadStretfordManchesterM32 9TR

Digamoslaverdad
Digamoslaverdad

"In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is the king"

 Only the

corrupt press manipulated by the world capital of oppression "believes"

that in Ecuador there is no freedom. Ecuador has never invaded any

nation nor has infiltrated polical, military or subversive germs sown

seed to eliminate those who,  disagree with our policy or economical

interest.Our president was legally elected through elections and we are

only those who seek freedom from who still believe we are their colonies

.We are lucid enough to defend those who denounce the filthy practice

of plundering who call themselves "watchdogs of democracy." The views we

share with other nations, do not makes us despots and tyrants  as

Anglo-Saxon propaganda would like us to look like.We do not assassinate,

torture, or just confine or deprive the right to defend to those who do

not share our ideas, we have no hidden prisons to torture dissidents.

Assange is a victim of persecution and we are with him.Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/08/...

 

Digamoslaverdad
Digamoslaverdad

"In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is the king"

 Only the corrupt press manipulated by the world capital of oppression "believes" that in Ecuador there is no freedom. Ecuador has never invaded any nation nor has infiltrated polical, military or subversive germs sown seed to eliminate those who,  disagree with our policy or economical interest.Our president was legally elected through elections and we are only those who seek freedom from who still believe we are their colonies .We are lucid enough to defend those who denounce the filthy practice of plundering who call themselves "watchdogs of democracy." The views we share with other nations, do not makes us despots and tyrants  as Anglo-Saxon propaganda would like us to look like.We do not assassinate, torture, or just confine or deprive the right to defend to those who do not share our ideas, we have no hidden prisons to torture dissidents. Assange is a victim of persecution and we are with him.

18235
18235

south american countries.....where many a nazi fled after ww2, to live out a peaceful life surrounded by spanish speaking military juantas and death squads against peasants.

newyork1974
newyork1974

Those, ahem, major media outlets charge $2 -- an hour.

El Roz
El Roz

London grants asylum to dozens of crooks, inc. many from Lybia, Syria, Russia...but if Washington orders, the Brits fulfill the decree and hunt for Assange in spite of all international legality. Just like with Iraq.  Sad.

El Roz
El Roz

While UK grants asylums to dirty crooks like Berezovsky and Borodin who looted Russia, they make a hunt for Assange at the bidding of Washington. Shameful conduct by the Brits - SHAMEFUL! You lose your sovereignty and your souls.

davidgoldmandg
davidgoldmandg

At least Asange did something good for the world and humanity.

But in this world he gets put in jail while the bankers get off free.

BIll W
BIll W

 For those that haven't been following the Assange story, two woman after

confering on facebook went down to the local police days later and

asked if their consensual sex was illegal in one aspect. The cops blew

them off. An 'Entity' got the charges reinstated. The proscutor blew it

off. The 'Entity' intervend and Sweden found a proscutor somewhere in

the country that would press charges.

The fine for the charge

I'm told is 750 kronor or $125. So, over the the fine of a parking

ticket, Swedish and British judiciary is being manupulated to bring a

man not charged with any crime to justice...WTF

Who is this 'Entity' that kept this charade going?

BIll W
BIll W

 For those that haven't been following the Assange story, two woman after conferring on facebook went down to the local police days later and

asked if their consensual sex was illegal in one aspect. The cops blew

them off. An 'Entity' got the charges reinstated. The proscutor blew it

off. The 'Entity' intervend and Sweden found a proscutor somewhere in

the country that would press charges.

The fine for the charge

I'm told is 750 kronor or $125. So, over the the fine of a parking

ticket, Swedish and British judiciary is being manupulated to bring a

man not charged with any crime to justice...WTF

Who is this 'Entity' that kept this charade going

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Madamm Geeky
Madamm Geeky

Here is a great example of why Julian Assange does not expect help from his own nation:  

www.expendable.tv

They are consumed with their own corrupt political agenda, and sell citizens at the drop of a hat, using their closed media to cover their tracks. Read the Australian government emails on there, all unreported over there, of course.

Julian Assange is all too well aware of this situation. He is Australian, so he has nowhere to turn.

J.C.Morgan
J.C.Morgan

Bravo Assange! Bravo Ecuador! US amp; UK are hypocrite. 

Daniel Klasson
Daniel Klasson

More slander and lies from our "free media". China is starting to look democratic in comparison.

Carlovitch
Carlovitch

nothing quite like a bit of US of A bashing is there? Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most democratic of us all - A daily routine Correa, Chavez, Castro, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Lukashenko and a few others engage in each morning. The mirror, as we know, answers most obliginglyand these despots can carry on with their daily routine practising the highest respect for their citizens' human rights. And there are always idiots who believe them.

DaveInSeoul
DaveInSeoul

The way Correa persecutes domestic press in Ecuador but touts Assange as someone "decorated for his fight in favor of freedom of expression" is an absolute joke and proves he merely wants to act to spite the West, not unlike some other Central and South American leaders. 

Conrad Brean
Conrad Brean

The only difference between the dirty tricks of the Nixon administration and the current one today is that under Obama, the US government does and CAN get any with murder, torture and destruction of human rights any time it sees fit. If Obama had been in power during Vietnam, Daniel E. would be still rotting in jail today. One would expect, the Obama perception management team to discredit Ecuador as much as possible. However, if you line up human rights abuses, breaches of international law and illegal dirty tricks, the South American state would pale in comparison to the USA. The TIMES article only proves what a puppet the British government is.

priestson
priestson

Assange is being framed with an improbable sexual offence,This is punishment for exposing the villains who rule our democracies and revealing  the truth to citiizne who have a natural right as taxpayers to know  precisely what is going on behind locked doors or behind fences with a tablets proclaiming "Government Property -Keep Off". We are the people, we live in democracies, ergo we are the real Government.

Alas, if you attack Caesar  or  dare to question his institutions you will be hurt.

Carlovitch
Carlovitch

I don't believe Swedish Courts are controlled by the U.S. Government. Correa however is v much influenced by his paymaster Hugo Chavez, who in turn is being controlled by Castro.

Carlovitch
Carlovitch

at least we can try to improve our 'Democracy'. What would happen to Assange in Cuba, Venezuela, Belarus, Iran, Russia, N. Korea, China, even Ecuador??

Digamoslaverdad
Digamoslaverdad

 How stupid are you! I am Ecuadorian and there are freedom. Mr Rafael Correa was electected by a vast mayority. We have not politician prisoners, not even after our president was victim himself of agravatted assault. We don't have prisoners overseas and we do not manipulate our media via corruption as your country does globally. final point: we do not have invaded  any country for economical o political reasons for centurys , contrary to those oil-sukers that everibody knows.

priestson
priestson

Quite, but that is  a non sequitur and beside the point in this discusison Carlo. Your remarks ,with which I completely agree, are as relevant  here as saying the US was  not justified in incarcerating all its Japanese citizens during WWII but they would have fared far worse had they been Jews in Germany.

Carlovitch
Carlovitch

Why is 'Ecuador' so friendly toward Julian Assange ? The simple truth is: Because Ecuador's President is one of Hug Chavez' boot polishers and is acting o behalf of clear directives from Havana - via - Caracas. Now Chavez will use this to try to make a little extra political capital in Latin America. Soon Kirchner will join in the latest 'anti-Imperialist' cause and with Chavez now maneuvered into a dodgy outfit like Mercosur, will have a little something new to shout about. Fortunately for their own starving and battered populations Chavez, Correa and Castro will one day soon (but not soon enough) be history. Clearing up the mess they'll leave behind will however take a little longer even than Assange coming to terms with his self-created realities. 'Freedom of speech' is one thing, - irresponsibly publishing a country's military secrets is quite another. In Venezuela people are rotting in medieval - type jails in atrocious conditions f or 'peanuts' compared to what Assange is accused of.

Steve Reid
Steve Reid

2 hookers in Sweden ----$25,000

3 Swedish judges ----- $60,000

1 British foreign minister ----$100,000

76 major media outlets ------$76

A cheap price to pay to keep the rest of your secrets from coming out.

Free Assange!

 

Taran Rampersad
Taran Rampersad

I somehow doubt that the gambit of deflecting Quito's war on private media as a reason for Ecuador to enter the fray on Assange.  It seems more reasonable that Assange is using leverage to assure he isn't taken to Sweden.

Jason Bras
Jason Bras

Assange's goal is not Ecuador, a place ranked to the bottom 3rd of quality of life and standard of living.  however, once in Ecuador, Assange can easily move to Argentina, Brasil or even Chile, which has very good quality of life and standard of living especially when Assange has $.  also, there are enough leftie organizations in Latin American countries that Assange may get financial backing as long as he keeps poking into the eye balls of US - something Assange would love to continue do.  also, girls in Brasil and Argentina are hotter than western europe, a lot more PYT than before.... LIFE IS GOOD!!!! -:) 

Brian Penny
Brian Penny

Whistleblowers face constant retaliation. I know the pain Julian Assange feels personally. I've stood against the machine and been punished for it.

Read Chapter 2 of my firsthand account as a bank whistleblower exposing the largest bank fraud in history here: 

http://thoughtforyourpenny.blo...

Denys Flores
Denys Flores

Times have come when the powerful will surrender to the weak... Times have come when the weak will stand up to protect the innocent from the powerful... Those times are now and no one can do anything to stop these changes. The US can't stand that Assange and a little Southamerican nation have made a fool of the US international mind tricks

Carlovitch
Carlovitch

the "weak" will then be the "powerful", and behave in precisely the same manner. I suggest you read about the Gulag. This is planet earth, and we are Homo "sapiens", remember....

Denys Flores
Denys Flores

The US has been holding thieves since 1999 who were charged and prosecuted in Ecuador for the so called 'bank holiday' which seized  all the money held in bank accounts of a great deal of Ecuadorean citizens, including retired people. The US gave the Isaias brothers political asylum with no explanation at all. Now, Ecuador is being judged for granting asylum to a politically persecuted Australian. Ecuador deported Barankov because one condition of political asylum is to stop talking badly about the other implied government. Barankov lost asylum because of this, Ecuador retired its support and that's why Barankov was deported. We Ecuadorians have always acted within legal boundaries. The press persecution in Ecuador is a lie. CONAIE and other activists are politically influenced people who are against Rafael Correa's government.  The media in Ecuador was a mafia fed by lies and misconduct. Assange helped Ecuador find the truth about some bad reporters who were inner whistle-blowers for the US Embassy during Heather Hodges' administration. Assange is a world hero, Ecuador is a brave little nation... the villains are the US, Sweden and sadly the UK, a country I love as if it were my own.

ramiro88
ramiro88

at least you read the news about Barankov's case? Clearly not! He was not deported, he is in jail in Ecuador even when he has a refugee condition, he has not "political asylum" , there are two very different things. Barankov never lost his refugee status. Please, a better reserarch before making comments  

Jaisal Noor
Jaisal Noor

We should be collapsing in laughter at Western governments and media's double standards when it comes to observing international law, rights of journalists

Steve Reid
Steve Reid

 Very true. I don't recall Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein having to seek asylum after exposing the secrets of a corrupt president.

Ron Helton
Ron Helton

“Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

- Lord Acton

"Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power."

- George Bernard Shaw

We are now in a world of make believe.  Let's pretend that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were noble and just causes;  foisted upon the free world by leaders with the utmost integrity and wisdom.

Bradley Manning and Julian Assange have pulled back the curtain of the wizards and shown the world that they are using smoke and mirrors.  These leaders are neither noble nor morally straight.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be viewed by future generations as having been made by morally bankrupt leaders.

"He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death."Thomas Paine

The 911 attacks were perpetrated by criminals and should have been treated as such.

Instead of hunting the organization that produced these criminals; our leaders hunted and killed thousands of civilians.  And in the process violated the sovereignty of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Using their flawed logic, we should have invaded Saudi Arabia since the majority of the criminals on 911 were from that country.

NStat
NStat

did you even read the cables 

Ron Helton
Ron Helton

 Yes.  And I have even read the entire 911 Commission Report.

So what is your point?

I have also watched the footage from the cameras of the apache helicopter crew who murdered a Reuters reporter and camera man.  And it was obvious as a former officer in the military that it was a camera not an rpg.

Our country has degenerated into a bunch of self-deniers who refuse to own up to their mistakes or to make our leaders pay the price for their crimes.

angelapolis
angelapolis

britain is just the carpet and wc of US. Free Julian Assange.

Steelsil
Steelsil

Britain pretty well guaranteed that Ecuador would give Assange assylum, when they threatened to invade their embassy.  Was Britain incredibly ham-handed, or did they actually want a deniable way to avoid sending Assange to Sweden?

Omniogignes
Omniogignes

They made a statement which was distorted by Ecuador. It is just the nastiness of politics. They might have responded too quickly? It generally takes time to craft a particular message, as every word need to be scrutinized to ensure that they can not be deliberately misconstrued.

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

Its great to see Britain and Sweden lining up so well behind the US to persecute the greatest whistle blower of all time.

Assange acts like Nathan Hale but our government treats him like Benedict Arnold.

The US is orchestrating all this and we, supposed bastion of free speech and liberty should be ashamed.

Of course I'm sure our government hopes to see him dealt with exactly like our close ally treated Nathan Hale.

"Give me Liberty or give me Death!"

Carlovitch
Carlovitch

why not try practising 'free  speech' in some of Ecuador's 'democratic' associates? Try Venezuela, Cuba, Belarus, Russia, N.Korea, Iran - for starters.

El Roz
El Roz

 Russia is way more free...if you actually went and lived there you'd know.

Jason Faulkner
Jason Faulkner

Do you want to use Russia as a comparator or would you prefer to use what's right?

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

It's not about Ecuador, It is about the hypocrisy of our own government and the other toady governments carrying out the US pogrom against free speech.

The enemy here is us.

Jason Faulkner
Jason Faulkner

 Or some of the US's associates like Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan or Uzbekistan.

pcg123
pcg123

Where is your evidence for your claim that "the US is orchestrating all of this"?

Are you completely indifferent to sexual assault?  If so maybe you should join the legions of Penn State fans who felt the same way about Paterno and Sandusky as you do about Assange.

I know it's hard to see your idols fall but they if you didn't invest so much of your political view of yourself in them then you wouldn't have this problem.

newyork1974
newyork1974

http://www.smh.com.au/national...

That report is in today's Sydney Morning Herald, based on cables obtained under the Australian freedom of information act.

The evidence that the US is behind this is overwhelming.

As for the "sexual assault" how many victims of rape -- who invited the "rapist" to share their home and their bed the night before -- then invite the "rapist" to breakfast the morning after the "rape," then go along to a public meeting where the "rapist" is speaking and send out twitter messages expressing their enthusiasm?

OK, so he didn't call them afterward.  He's a cad.

This is why the Swedish authorities threw this laughable case out, only to reinstate it after orders from higher up.

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

Glad you brought that out, my support of Assange in this is in no way reflective of indifference to sexual assault. 

Basically I think extreme punishment is reasonable for such cases.

But, Sweden had dropped the Assange case entirely, the only reason they reopened it was because of US pressure.

That is political bullying and represents indefensible interference with justice.

The reason we did it was not because of compromising ongoing operations, but because it embarrassed the US government at how much it exposed our corruption, lies and back room dealings.

That is precisely what free speech is for.

If the case had substance Sweden would have pursued it without our after the fact pressure. 

This is classic railroading.

Sandusky and Paterno are clearly guilty of the most heinous of crimes and there is no hole deep enough for them.

Of course, where does that leave the Roman Catholic Church.

I also think that many of the punishments and fines exacted on the school itself are counterproductive and will inevitably cause more damage to the students than to anyone remotely responsible for the events that transpired.

I am certainly an idealist.

Without strongly held and strongly supported ideals, we are nothing.

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

You know, I'm really happy you brought that up.

Of course I'm not indifferent to sexual assault.What I am also not indifferent to is that Sweden had completely decided not to prosecute this because of lack of credible evidence and that we the United States bullied them into it for our own completely self serving political reasons.There would be no case had we not forced Sweden into it.That is not justice, that is us, the US acting like a giant political bully,Kind of like Pussy Riot in Russia right now, although you expect that sort of thing from Putin.Assange is one man, simply, our government is persecuting him because he embarrassed them.

A totalitarian government very simply trumps all other concerns. Period.

As for Sandusky and Paterno, they to0 are emblematic of the self serving acceptance of corruption that I am accusing our government of. 

There is no hole deep enough for them. 

Of course, by extension,  that puts pretty much the entire Roman Catholic Church administration in that same hole.

And yes, I am an idealist. 

Without strongly felt and strongly supported ideals, we are nothing.

Jason Faulkner
Jason Faulkner

You do  realize that this "sexual assault" isn't recognized as such in any country outside Sweden, right? I'm sure you're also aware that they're going through all this trouble for a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of $700.

Gyre54
Gyre54

The circumstantial evidence that the US is pulling these strings with the UK and Sweden is overwhelming. There's also strong evidence, based on the timing of the claims, that the "rape" allegations are fabrications. Do a little reading of varied legitimate news sources for a change, and you might be able to  form a thought of your own about this particular game the US is playing.

Denys Flores
Denys Flores

 Having 2 girls claiming sexual assault after the US cables were released is very handy isn't it? Making up a crime with no evidence is a very low move even for the US... Free Assange!!

El Roz
El Roz

 Smells like Iraq - and London follows Washington again on this too.

Cam "Omake"
Cam "Omake"

Actually they claimed sexual assault before the cables were released. The sexual assault accusation came in August 2010, the cables were released in November. Your assumption is baseless and without evidence.

Carlovitch
Carlovitch

presumably these 'girls' are siamese twins in the pay of the nasty CIA !!??

Vlad Dzhabarov
Vlad Dzhabarov

 If it was about sexual assault, Sweden could make a promise not to extradite him to US, which has absolutely nothing to do with the assault.  As it stands, Assange is perfectly willing to be tried for sexual assault, provided it occurs outside Sweden.  Because Sweden has already shown it will do whatever the hell US orders it to do, as exemplified by thepiratebay trials.

Mattias Wideklint
Mattias Wideklint

"Rättssystemet i Sverige är oberoende. Jag kan inte göra några uttalanden som binder rättssystemet på något sätt. Då skulle jag bryta mot den svenska grundlagen." - Carl Bildt, Foreign minister.Translates roughly as "The legal system in Sweden is independent. I can not make any statements that bind the legal system in any way. Then I would violate the Swedish constitution."Hence, Sweden can NEVER make a promise not to extradite anyone, ever. So, yeah, the US is clearly behind it all.

rdl114
rdl114

 Theft is theft regardless of where and when and why it is conducted. If everyone simply ignored law, we would have no society. As imperfect as democracy is, I don't think that I want an abused and damaged personalty such as Assange determining what is or is not a state secret. Paranoia and prankishness is no way to run a country or a world. This on top of endangering the lives of tens of thousands of people in many countries who may or may not be culpable of  political crimes that Assange has deemed wrong. Who died and left Assange king of the world?)

A self-defined libertarian, Assange is actually an anarchist. We have elections, and institutions, as unhelpful as they may have become. Assange was elected by his own vote and no one else's. He's as bad as the people he wants to disrupt and depose. He doesn't believe in law, he doesn't believe in the established norms of culture or society.

His rape charges, which some of his defenders have conjured into a worldwide conspiracy, (a demented and demeaning viewpoint given the women's charges), are serious, violent and if one surveys his entire life, in perfect concert with an Ayn Rand sort of human being - one above everything in his own mind. To circle back to the notion that the United States somehow orchestrated these rape charges is absurd. If a government wanted him out of the way, he could have been disposed of in a much cleaner manner and all would be done with him. This love of conspiracy is a modern cancer. His adherents worship Assange like children worshiping an athlete or movie star. Well, here is what your hero did.

Here are some of the charges against him in the rape case. 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.