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Julian Assange Loses Extradition Appeal 311

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the us-enhanced-interrogators-filled-with-glee dept.
judgecorp writes "Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has lost his appeal in the British High Court against extradition to Sweden on charges of rape. His team has 14 days to appeal to the Supreme Court — but would have to show a 'wider issue of public importance' to justify such an appeal. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has suspended publication because it says a 'banking blockade' has cut off its sources of funding."
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Julian Assange Loses Extradition Appeal

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:03AM (#37918808)

    Assange has, unfortunately, been very bad for wikileaks. I think a lot of people support the idea of wikileaks, but his involvement and his serving as the public face of the group has been a huge problem for the organization. If wikileaks survives (which seems unlikely right now) it will be despite him, not because of him.

    Julian, for the good of the cause you've championed, please step down from wikileaks.

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      I am not sure about the integral effect on it. It brings attention to Wikileaks, good or gad, and I think that people who are in position to leak do not care much of Assange is accused of rape.

      Wikileaks is a messenger, in contrary to news media, it does not editorialize (well, they were withholding some leaks at the request of (who? I forgot), but that hardly counts), and in this case it does not matter how grey sexual mores of it's leadership are.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's not even the accusation of rape. It's his entirely anti-government stance. The man seems to want the world in flames. Wikileaks needs someone who expresses genuine concern for both people and governments and really wants them to improve, rather than roll over and die.

        • by mapkinase (958129)

          "It's his entirely anti-government stance" that's true

          "The man seems to want the world in flames" that's not true.

    • In any movement there needs to be a degree of professionalism to the movement. The problem with a lot of these modern movements is the vilification of their opponents, because doing it this way is the easiest way to get a quick (large) group or radicals together. But in the grand scheme of things it does little to solve the problem because the moderates thou opponents are feeling personally attacked by the group.

      The idea of "I don't believe in what you are saying, but I will fight for the right for you t

      • by tukang (1209392)

        I am one of those people who dislikes the Tea Party and OWS and I don't call them idiotic because I dislike them, I dislike them because I think they're idiotic. Let's start with the Tea Party. Tying the debt ceiling to budget negotiations and then not compromising by an inch and voluntarily walking to the brink of default is extreme and idiotic. We borrowed the money, we spent it, and now we need to pay it back. Period.

        I've read a lot of the OWS stories and a lot of them really do sound like "I don't ha

        • by Fned (43219) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @01:35PM (#37922776) Journal

          So, the post-bubble situation is normal? What the fuck ever.

          "I don't have money but other people have money, that's unfair!" is bullshit spin and you know it. People are complaining that they have less money than they used to, and that the people with money are at fault, which is, in every meaningful way, true.

          Worker productivity has been going up steadily since the Industrial Revolution, but the same workers' wages, in real dollars, have leveled off and stayed flat for the past thirty or forty years. The country is getting richer, but the people actually doing the work to make it so haven't been. And look, the whole time, the people RUNNING the country have been getting richer FASTER THAN THE COUNTRY HAS. Gee, wherever shall we point the finger of blame?

          Meanwhile, recent college grads haven't been able to get jobs regardless of their degree, because companies are only hiring people whoalready have jobs. Companies run by those aforementioned People With Money.

          In short: "I don't have money because powerful people took it from me." Sounds like a legitimate gripe to me. You can try to prove it's not true, but you can't just dismiss it out of hand.

      • by jbolden (176878)

        The idea of "I don't believe in what you are saying, but I will fight for the right for you to say it" concept is going away

        I can't think of anytime during my life when there was more free speech. What is going away is a desire to engage with contrary opinions, actual surpression has been mostly abandoned in the west.

        But they disagree with their message so they will do anything possible to make them seem like one sided idiots.

        Well yes. That is propaganda. People have casual gentrified conversations

    • Assange has, unfortunately, been very bad for wikileaks.

      How very convenient for the powers that be. Almost too convenient.

    • by mmcuh (1088773) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:06AM (#37919714)
      You could also say that Wikileaks has been very bad for Assange. Do you think that anyone serving as the public face for an organisation that has embarrassed the US military, diplomats and government would not have been made to look as bad as possible?
      • It doesnt help when you try to resist extradition on really flaky grounds (as if it would be easier to bring him from Sweden to the US than from the UK, if that were the goal). Hes really making all of this a zillion times bigger than it needed to be by trying to make a tragic hero out of himself. We all knew he would end up in court over the rape allegations eventually.

        It seems like there are a lot of people who would continue to deny any possibility that Assange has personal failings no matter what the

      • by rgviza (1303161)
        Assange's organization didn't embarrass the us military, diplomats and government. Traitors, snitches and moles did. They are the ones who should be demonized and bastardized, not to mention strung up and flayed.

        Assange is no more guilty of "causing" these problems than the newspaper reporter that printed what Scooter Libby told him about Valerie Plame.

        The government didn't go after the reporter, they went after Scooter Libby. He's the one that leaked the information and is ultimately the criminal who is re
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851)

      If he steps down, then the US government wins. If you've been paying attention, the whole thing smacks of government conspiracy. There mysteriously wasn't enough evidence to justify his being questioned while he was still in Sweden, there wasn't enough to justify him being required to stay in the country, but suddenly when he leaves there's enough evidence to justify abusing Interpol to get him arrested and extradited back to Sweden.

      What I'm curious about is, what sort of a person could Wikileaks find that

      • by fotbr (855184)

        A good number of us have not turned on him -- we just never cared for him in the first place.

        See also: Jimmy Wales.

      • by jbolden (176878)

        I agree with you. Well said. Politics is a rough game and Julian has done well with it.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:14AM (#37918938) Homepage Journal

    If he'd pulled this trick during the cold war, he would have had a mysterious "car accident" in the country late at night with lots of empty bottles and a young male prostitute in the car with him. That .45 caliber wound to his head would have obviously been from the steering wheel, of course.

    Now they just set him up on a phony charge for not requesting sexual relations via the Swedish government-approved triplicate form. What's next, claiming he killed someone with secondhand smoke, or arresting him for going over his personal carbon cap?

    • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@carp a n e t . net> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:31AM (#37920032) Homepage

      Actually.... I decided this morning to do some reading up on the allegations. The stories sound fairly bad, and damning, and paint a picture of a rather strange and misogynistic individual.... as long as you ignore a few bits that don't make sense, like "Mrs A" indicating a paranoid fear that he purposefully "tore the condom", based on.... um.... huh what?

      If you take the stories at face value, they paint the picture of a misogenistic womanizing individual, and casual rapist (im not sure how one properly categorizes rapists)

      Then... there are also counter allegations of twitter posts (I didn't have time to get that far, I mean to look more later, but if anyone has any pointers on this... I would love to see) that contradict the stories and indication that neither Mrs A nor Mrs W came forward until they found out about eachother, and even that they may have a profit motive to have both come forward together.... and that things looked non-kosher enough that the initial prosecutor dismissed the whole case as not being strong enough to pursue.

      So we are left with a third possibility... the women are independent actors trying to cash in, and intelligence agencies are running with it because all it takes is a little pressure.

      Of course... who knows... maybe he did it? After reading some articles on the allegations tho.... it does seem to stink of sex and money fueled drama.

      Of particular interest is the allegations made by the Assange defense team: "There are many more text and SMS messages from and to the complainants which have been shown by the assistant prosecutor to the Swedish defence lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, which suggest motivations of malice and money in going to the police" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden )

      So it sounds like which version is true is going to come down to the content of those messages.

      If thats true, and the prosecution knows about it.... then.... well... it makes the international intrigue aspect of this look much more probable.

      • by jvkjvk (102057)

        I would like to know how someone who has sex with consenting adults can be considered a 'casual rapist'.

        Please elucidate the points on which you are basing your statement.

        Regards.

        • Because in some countries you can give consent and then withdraw it, which appears to be the case in the allegations (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/12/06/some-thoughts-on-sex-by-surprise/). Without saying whether the allegations are true, or going into the mountains of intrigue or motivation behind the case itself, look simply at the nature of the alleged crimes. In one instance a man said he was using a condom, then did not. What if the woman had caught an STD? What about the fear of wonde
        • by TheCarp (96830)

          RTFA

          The allegations include one woman "waking up" already engaged in intercourse, after having indicated that she did not want to have unprotected sex with him. Not sure how you defend that as anything other than rape. It COULD be a misunderstanding, there could be things that happened that she may have been unaware of (he may have thought she was awake and consenting, based on reactions she made while sleeping.... I have made this mistake, tho it has never gone nearly as far). This is why I made the stipul

      • they paint the picture of a misogenistic womanizing individual

        True of most men at times. Just like women are often misandrist "man-eaters". Because being selfish and contemptuous of others is the default--and possibly the correct--attitude. Certainly it's what evolution wants of us: when women aren't bitching about womanizers, they are of course spreading their legs for them.

  • As planned (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mrquagmire (2326560)
    It looks like things are proceeding exactly as planned...
  • Put Mexican drug cartel info on wikileaks.

  • One thing I don't get about the alleged strategy being used against Assange, is how this brings him closer to US government retaliation (unless the sex charges themselves are the retaliation). Can someone explain that to me?

    It's hard to believe he's thinking in terms of some kind of .. ahem .. extra-legal action, such as assassination. What, I'm supposed to believe covert US agents are capable of operating in Sweden but not just as capable in UK? Oh please. The whole point of moving him to Sweden has to

    • Is there an actual legal mechanism whereby Assange could be extradited to US?

      Yes, they have had an arrangement for 'terrists'. This is the basis of Assange's complaint. And I don't see why it's not a 'wider issue of public importance' for the general public in the UK. 2-hop extraditions ought to be a matter of public importance, especially when the first hop is minor in charge.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      You don't get it. He will got off on the charge from sweden but then the US will blow up his plane when he tries to fly home. The US would never blow up a UK airliners because of the risk that US citizens could be killed.
      Since no one from the US ever goes to Sweden it is a much less likely to be any US citizens on a Swedish plane when the US blows it up!
      Besides the Godless, oversexed, bimbo blondes that populate Sweden are terrible pilots and mechanics so it would look like an accident.

  • by jago25_98 (566531) <jago25_98.hotmail@com> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:17PM (#37923408) Homepage Journal

    Why did Assange go to the 52nd state (the UK) rather than France or Russia?

    Remind whistle blowers it's easy to self publish with Freenet and then use Wikileaks.

    And don't put too much importance on this story. There are plenty of other Assanges out there. Keep calm and carry on.

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