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Assange Makes Statement Calling For an End To the "Witch Hunt" 915

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After a statement from a window at an upper floor from the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange '... called on US President Barack Obama to "do the right thing" and for his government to "renounce its witch hunt against Wikileaks."'" However, the U.S. issued the following statement regarding Assange's stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy, "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognize the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law,"
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Assange Makes Statement Calling For an End To the "Witch Hunt"

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  • Not recognized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:27AM (#41045423)

    Not recognized, huh? Kinda like the multi-trillion dollar deficit, eh?

    What a crock of shit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:28AM (#41045439)

    Also applies to himself regarding facing up to the charges against him in Sweeden.

  • by TemperedAlchemist (2045966) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:32AM (#41045461)

    Oh you're right, people shouldn't know what their government is up to. What ever was I thinking?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:33AM (#41045473)

    Jules COULD HAVE gotten some people killed.

    The actions described in the leaked cables and classified information show that the US government DID kill innocent people. Then tried to cover it up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:34AM (#41045481)

    now you see the true face of your government

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:36AM (#41045491)

    The dirty deeds done in the dark by dirty people who assumed it would always be dark... got people killed. Wikileaks just turned on the lights.

    We don't live in a world of secrets anymore. Human communication is too rich and evolved for that kind of thinking. Finally, we can have some honesty and progress.

  • by runeghost (2509522) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:37AM (#41045497)

    If it is, I'm certain the Chinese will be happy to know. Especially the next time we shelter one of their dissidents at our embassy.

  • by darkeye (199616) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:38AM (#41045507) Homepage

    wonder how they don't recognize it now..

    for example in 1956, the US granted political asylum to cardinal Mindszenty at their embassy in Budapest, Hungary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu1TZVX72Aw&t=4m9s [youtube.com]

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:41AM (#41045539)

    Not recognized, huh? Kinda like the multi-trillion dollar deficit, eh?

    What a crock of shit.

    Hey the US doesn't even recognise the International Court of Justice.
    What a shit country it is. It has no rule of law, it has institutionalised torture, it has its own STASI, it has a militarised police aparatus, and it incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other first world country. Oh and it can assassinate its own citizens without any judicial oversight. As well as throwing people in jail without discolsing any kind of public evidence.
    France should reclaim The Statue of Liberty. It serves no purpose anymore in a land that has become more oppresive and arbitrary than what you would have experienced in the Soviet Union during the cold war years. What a terrible irony.

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:42AM (#41045551)

    you seem to have a blind spot, an out of contorl government in the pockets of wealthy elite killing and maiming innocents is DEFINETLY putting people at risk

  • by Schmorgluck (1293264) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:47AM (#41045587)

    In one of the cases, he admitted himself that they had sex with protection, then later he engaged in intercourse, without protection, while she was asleep. That's rape by surprise. Clear and simple.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:58AM (#41045665)

    Except he knows the charges are complete bullshit and just a facade to get him extradited to the US.

    Considering what the US thinks is at stake, causing a diplomatic incident by kidnapping assange wouldn't be enough of a problem to make it not worthwhile.

    The UK won't intervene, they don't want to piss off the US. Sweden will find assange swiped from right under their nose, probably before he even touches swedish soil

  • Re:Corruption (Score:2, Insightful)

    by csumpi (2258986) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:01AM (#41045687)
    No, we don't know that there was no sexual assault.

    The only way we find out, is if he goes to Sweden and clears his name with the police, or the court.
  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:04AM (#41045711)
    I think that the United States is not thinking about Julius Assange as much as Julius Assange wishes they were.
  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Titan1080 (1328519) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:04AM (#41045717)
    100% correct. The US, for a while now, is nowhere near 'the land of the free'. It's not even the home of the brave. And it's only going to get worse.
  • by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:06AM (#41045741) Journal

    The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognize the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law"

    Once again the Obama administration shames us with its foreign policy. Let hope the Chinese don't remember this statement next time one of their dissidents shows up at our Embassy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:06AM (#41045753)

    Yes. The US have decided to get the UK to deport him to Sweden so they can kidnap him there. It's just not enough of a challenge to get the UK to deport him to the US and be done with it.

  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:07AM (#41045767) Journal

    I only see an obligation to "face up to a charge" if you believe you're going to receive a fair trial.

    If there's a risk that you're going to be extradited to a third country and face internment and torture, it really doesn't matter how bad the charges against you are - you avoid the trial.

    Assange's main mistake was to be politically dangerous while not also being celibate.

  • by jbolden (176878) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:10AM (#41045777) Homepage

    I don't see the conflict. The United States and China both support the Vienna convention which holds that the US embassy in China is under US law. If we shelter a dissident China is free to file an extradition request under the extradition treaty. Our ambassador to China has no authority to grant immunity from Chinese persecution but does have the authority to require paperwork.

  • Re:Corruption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:13AM (#41045793) Journal

    and clears his name

    No, that's not how criminal justice works at all.

  • by Dunge (922521) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:15AM (#41045811)
    Come on you know the rape charge are made up. No government would go as far as they do for him if it were a simple rape charge.
  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:18AM (#41045833)
    You didn't spend very long thinking about that statement. There are many things you don't want to be public, besides national secrets and all, such as your tax information and various other private records.
  • Re:Corruption (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Titan1080 (1328519) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:18AM (#41045843)
    Within 1 week of him going to Sweden, he would be in US custody and headed for Gitmo. And within a week after that, the sex charges would be dropped with a couple crying bitches on TV saying, 'oops, we thought he was someone else'. AND MOST OF AMERICA WOULD EAT IT UP as gospel.
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:24AM (#41045891)
    Here's a guy saying that we should stop paying attention to the fact that he and his team helped deliver to regimes like Iran and North Korea thousands of sensitive documents having nothing in common other than the fact that a wish-I-hadn't-joined-the-military drama queen stole a giant, un-focused heap of them in a fit a pique... and then he spends months trolling through them looking for anything he can find that might make his idealogical opponents look bad, no matter the consequences for people under cover or working against oppressive regimes ... and then he says, "the witch hunt must end!"

    He wants the "witch hunt" (what which hunt? the one where we already know exactly what happened and who did it?) to end so that he can continue his own actual witch hunt in peace and go back to having contentious sexual relations with groupies and getting fawning media coverage from his designated approved media desciples.
  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:28AM (#41045911)
    This regime must vanish from the page of time. Seriously.
  • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:29AM (#41045913)
    If the UK pulls through with its bullshit, China is free to declare the US embassy in China no longer protected, march in, grab whoever they want, shit on the smoldering parts (sorry, those flashbangs set the carpet on fire), waltz out and say "told you so".

    It's the civilized US lapdog that first shat on the Vienna treaty.
  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:31AM (#41045935) Journal

    Most of what you say is true, and it is shameful what our nation has become but I take issue with two statements.

    has become more oppresive and arbitrary than what you would have experienced in the Soviet Union during the cold war years

    I find this doubtful at best, and difficult to prove. Having a look at the now much more open Russian the recent head lines coming out of there, it does not seem to be much different from the way things are here currently. They have their Kassprovs and Pussy Riots, we have our Julian Assanges. Both nations are using a "make it up as we go along" system of law, that gets down right tyrannical if you do anything politically incorrect. Still from the Russian immigrants I know, its widely believed Russia is a more tolerant place than during the Soviet era; even if things are headed in the wrong direction at the moment.

    US doesn't even recognize the International Court of Justice.

    This is not something I would take issue with. If there is an organization in the world more openly corrupt, ripe with cronyism, likely to give credibility to the most disgusting ideas and individuals on the planet its the UN. Personally I am most ashamed we remain a part of it at all. I think if our nation was principled we'd leave the UN. The last thing we should do, as bad as government has become is cede sovereignty to that body.

  • by ArchieBunker (132337) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:35AM (#41045965) Homepage

    Hell every story would be tagged that way. The janitors who run this site can't spend two minutes fact checking submissions that are already days behind Fark or Reddit.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:38AM (#41045997)

    Huh? You attacked the Vatican too? Wow, talk about war on religion!

  • by tangent3 (449222) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:39AM (#41046003)

    Obama wasn't even born in 1954, why is it his fault that the US wasn't a party in the 1954 OAS Convention?

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:40AM (#41046013)

    Hey at least I can drink all the Budweiser and say all the stupid shit I want.
    Freedom!

  • However (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:41AM (#41046015)

    Most US citizens live at a pleasant level of luxury with a sufficient sense of security and sufficient hope for a better future. Because of this, they would rather not get involved in politics very much at all (mostly they just vote to impose their morality on their neighbors, or to resist having their neighbors impose their morality on them).

    The American public finds it very comforting to believe that they are safe and free and an example to the world of how to do governance properly. This belief is not challenged by their circumstances (as mentioned above), and so it persists despite the right-out-in-public actions that directly contradict this belief, and that the American government continues to take without hesitation or remorse.

    In fact, the unchecked tyranny of the American government actually benefits most of the American people, as it ensures that Americans can continue to have their cheap goods and relatively steady jobs and not have to make any sacrifices to pay down the beyond-their-capacity-to-envision national debt.

    Therefore, anyone who points out the real injustices perpetuated by the American government, most Americans just write it off as conspiracy theory nonsense, without expending the slightest modicum of effort at checking the facts. The problem isn't just that they don't know, but that they don't want to know. And they sure don't want to put themselves at risk, or make any kind of sacrifice, to protect those other people in other countries from their beloved government. Nor do they want to protect those boat-rockers right in their own country, as such boat-rockers seem to be spewing nonsense and offer only to make things worse for the very people of whom they are demanding action.

    Until the majority of Americans feel the pain of their Government's actions, directly, they will NOT get up and hold their government accountable. They will just vote for the next charismatic man who uses words like "hope" and "change" and feel smug about having voted, as usual.

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:45AM (#41046065)

    people shouldn't know what their government is up to

    You're right. I suggest that we publish the names and photos of all undercover cops working against organized crime. Also, home addresses of the wives of people working covertly in places like North Korea or Yemen. Also, we should circulate a spreadsheet showing the schedule and routes of moving nuclear material. And when the government acts to put someone in protective custody or witness protecction, such covert activities - where the public doesn't get to know where the person is and what they're doing - should definitely be considered the sleazy act of an insufficiently GNU-Open-Secrecy-Is-Bad government.

    Or is it possible that there are benefits, when doing things like talking to political parties in countries that are on the brink of a civil war, in being able to assure such a group that they can speak frankly while policy matters are hashed out?

    What ever was I thinking?

    Don't beat yourself up about it. Most other people don't think about reality, either.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sydneyfong (410107) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:50AM (#41046095) Homepage Journal

    You want to see a universal government over the whole world with that kind of unchecked power?

    No, but the USA is acting as such. It is trying to say: We don't play by rules, and we will make life miserable for anyone (even if supposedly outside USA jurisdiction) if they dare provoke us or violate our interests.

    That pretty much sounds like a "universal government" (owned by Americans) with hugely unchecked power.

    We will fix our problems in our own way.... Living in America as an ordinary citizen isn't nearly as bad as you make it out to be either.

    The problem is not that American life sucks. The problem is that the way America behaves makes the lives of ordinary *non*-Americans suck. If your "fixing our problems" means shameless bullying international parties into submission to your selfish agenda, at least we can bitch about it on the Internet.

    Though I'm not sure your "first Amendment" rights apply to me, heh.

  • by iocat (572367) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:51AM (#41046109) Homepage Journal
    Way to defend rape. It's possible to be raped by someone you previously had consensual sex with.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:04AM (#41046213)

    Sweden HAD the chance to hear him, on more than one occasion. It's not like he fled the country over night after the alleged rape, he was there for weeks during which nobody really wanted to bother to check whether he should be asked. After leaving the country, he offered on numerous occasions to be questioned and nobody really wanted to unless he gets sent to Sweden. Odd, ain't it? They don't want to ask him anything, they don't want to interrogate him, but they want his body in Sweden. Why's that?

    The way I see it as soon as he sat foot onto Swedish soil, the US would instantly "request" an extradition with charges of treason, Sweden will instantly cave in (be honest, if you were the head honcho of a country and the US wants something from you, do you say no? Especially if you kinda need the US?) and the rape charges will conveniently disappear or get "settled".

    Even if the rape charges were real and not, as I have to suspect after all the bull surrounding them, a fabrication, the women in question would never get any kind of justice.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:06AM (#41046229)

    You can thank the United States for your freedom to say what you say.

    You can thank the French for even having a country in the first place. Without them you'd still be a fucking colony. See how it works ? ^_^

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:09AM (#41046245) Homepage Journal

    Assange faces no charges in Sweden.

    There is not even an indictment.

    One of the women has retracted her allegations.

    To reiterate, Julian Assange does not have any outstanding criminal charges against him in Sweden; he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual assault that surfaced after WikiLeaks made international headlines for exposing possible war crimes and gross illegality by governments. Were Assange unwilling to face the charges against him, it could be seen as a tacit admission of guilt. But, as both Assange and the government of Ecuador have made clear, he is willing to return to Sweden to confront the allegations against him as long as Sweden guarantees that he will not be extradited to the United States to face other, far more grave charges stemming from WikiLeaks.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/17/britains_assange_overreach/ [salon.com]

    The "rape" allegations were cleverly manipulated and brought to public attention in an attempt to do several things.
    - Prey upon Assange's personality and identify his persona as a synonym for Wikileaks.
    - Move the core issues exposed by Wikileaks to the periphery of any examination.
    - Assault the liberal/humanitarian orientation of any naturally inclined to support Wikileaks and Assange, creating dissension and re-aligning former supporters.

    You either get the idea here, or you're the kind of authoritarian-trained mind-set, that values passionate conviction above nuanced insight.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guises (2423402) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:17AM (#41046317)

    What is happening is that America (and most Americans) don't want the U.S. government to be subordinated below some global government. We've already seen what happens when sovereignty is surrendered to a more universal government, and for the most part we don't want to see that happen again. Once was enough and even then that universal government has likely gone too far.

    You're talking about the US federal government, to which the states were subordinated? Or the states, to which the counties are subordinated? Or the counties, to which the municipalities are subordinated? You really need to be a little more clear here. If this is more of that "state's rights" bullshit, let me remind you once again: the original and most powerful argument both for and against state's rights was slavery.

    Also: fuck you. What is this shit?

    BTW, I sure hope you aren't an American or living in America. If you are, get the hell out of here.

    I'm not leaving my country just because some assholes think they should be able to torture without criticism. The UN and the International Court are an attempt to bring the world a little closer together. They've had some successes and some failures, but the most important thing is the effort. Turning our back on the UN means turning our back on the rest of the world, all for the sake of some worthless sovereignty?

  • by peragrin (659227) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:19AM (#41046337)

    Seriously read the fucking law some day. it would have been easier to get him out of Britain. Sweden can't extradite him to the USA without Britons and the european court approval.

    All that Said the USA has a plan for Him. the first is discredit him. By hiding in Ecuador he basically admits that wikileaks is for sale to the highest bidder. The list of Ecuador human rights violations is hundreds of times larger than the USA's is.

    Ultimately wikileaks over the past two years has been toothless. every time it is mentioned this story comes up too. Seriously name one leak that has be published since this started happening?

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:23AM (#41046367) Homepage Journal

    It's possible to be raped by someone you previously had consensual sex with.

    Yes. It's quite a bit harder to make such a distinction when the alleged occurrence happens the same night, without having even left the bed yet from the former undisputed consensual liaison. I believe that comes close to the colloquial trope "lovemaking session".

    Oh, and she continued to engage with Julian on subsequent occasions. She was certainly not in a position of personal, economic or social dependance on Assange. Actually, quite the reverse.

    There is ample room to see how this has been manipulated politically. Especially when you get to the UK -- who won't even extradite SHAWN SULLIVAN, America's "Most Wanted Paedophile" to the US!

    Two judges sitting in London allowed an appeal against extradition by fugitive Shawn Sullivan, 43, after the American authorities refused to give an assurance that he would not be placed on a controversial sex offenders treatment programme in Minnesota.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/28/shawn-sullivan-extradition-blocked-america-most-wanted-pedophile-us_n_1633358.html [huffingtonpost.co.uk]

    But go after Assange! Hey! That evil rapist deserves to be blackened in the news over this Sullivan character!

  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:27AM (#41046397) Homepage

    Assange's main mistake was to be politically dangerous while not also being celibate.

    The rape charge is just a pretext (to get him extradited). If he had indeed been celibate, they'd be after him for anything else they could cook up: parking tickets, overdue library books, or not saying gezundheit when someone sneezed.

  • by oakgrove (845019) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:34AM (#41046471)
    In the past Sweden has been much more cooperative in extraditing suspects to the US than the UK so, yes, it would be easier for the US authorities if he were on Swedish soil than where he is now.
  • by oakgrove (845019) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:37AM (#41046495)

    Bradley Manning can burn in hell for that mess.

    Yeah, Gods forbid that the populace of a democratic nation actually know what their government is up to so that they can actually make an informed decision on who to vote for the next time they step up to the poll. If what Bradley Manning released is so bad then why can't the people that actually perpetrated the actions revealed in the leaks be the ones to "burn in hell"? Ever thought about that?

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by werewolf1031 (869837) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:38AM (#41046501)

    As an American, I may not necessarily support or endorse your point of view, but I absolutely support your right to bitch about it on the Internet and elsewhere.

    As to whether our First Amendment rights apply to you, I've no idea (I don't know where you're from, or if your country/territory/whatever has similar free speech contingencies), but I do hope for your sake that you're able to state your opinion without repercussions (again, regardless of whether we agree).

    Man, where's Voltaire when ya need him...

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... minus physicist> on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:44AM (#41046553) Homepage Journal

    Should an ordinary citizen be critical of their leaders because they don't like what they are doing? Absolutely! This is particularly true in a democratic republic with elected representatives who should be held to a higher standard and expected to be doing the right thing, or at least generally follow the will of the people they represent. It isn't perfect, but it sure sounds better than many other kinds of governments where an ordinary citizen has a whole lot less say in how their government works.

    The problems with the United Nations is for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that the other countries in the UN really don't share the same culture, values, or for that matter even the same political systems as America. As a place to meet and discuss things of mutual concern, the United Nations is a wonderful organization and in general can and should be used as an instrument for world peace. It provides a forum for global debates and a place where leaders of different countries (or their representatives) can join together and accomplish some amazing things.

    The United Nations was never intended to be a global government though that would take over the sovereignty of its member nations, and those who think it ought to be a global government really are seeking to establish a global tyranny that enslaves everybody.

    "States rights" is a part of the American experiment in governance, where the idea originally proposed was to have a very small national government where almost all authority for actions rested as locally as possible. This is generally a good idea, as some small town mayor or police chief may get a swelled head and do stupid things, but their reach is very limited and can't act when somebody goes into a neighboring town or state. Another aspect of this experiment is to disperse power of governance as widely as possible and to deliberately slow down decision making in such a way that important things take a long time to be resolved. Almost every major political screw up (including the Gitmo internment of "terrorists" and other similar prisons operated by the CIA and the U.S. military) happen because those involved did not follow the constitution or laws were enacted which granted unconstitutional authority.

    Subordinating the U.S. Supreme Court to become subordinate to the International Court or World Court (two different entities) is something that is simply unacceptable. Certainly it shouldn't be done without at least some sort of constitutional amendment (what I was talking about in terms of dispersed political power and time to debate the issue) that alters the original contract that Americans set up with our national government to make such a thing happen. If the President of the United States is saying that America won't be bound by rulings of that court and if the U.S. Congress goes out of their way to enact legislation to explicitly authorize the U.S. military to act against rulings of that court, that is not only constitutional but imperative to the operation and functioning of American society. That isn't "turning our back" on the UN, but rather not letting a couple idiots changing a basic part of our government without our consent.

    I am also stating plainly that there is a snowball's chance in hell that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution would ever be passed by the required number of states to enable jurisdiction of these courts over Americans. Thus, when the U.S. President is saying that the courts have no jurisdiction over Americans, he is actually upholding his oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America". Strangely, that is really the only thing a U.S. President has to do as well that is a requirement of his position.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grumbleduke (789126) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:44AM (#41046555) Journal

    I looked at that article, and the comments, and the article it linked to, but couldn't find a link to the cables directly, so I'll have to go with what's in the article [smh.com.au].

    All it suggests is that the US have an investigation into the leaks (and thus Assange) and that the Australians wanted to be kept informed. While yes, this suggests that they are thinking about him, I'm not sure if is indicative that they're after him as much as Assange seems to think. He may have broken US laws (at least, someone may have and he's the key piece in the puzzle), and they're investigating it.

    The more he does (or doesn't do), and the more I read, the more I'm convinced he's either paranoid or using the cover of US oppression to escape doing some rather mean things in Sweden.

  • by budgenator (254554) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:45AM (#41046565) Journal

    I don't see why anything Assange thinks he knows, about a possible US extradition on espionage or terrorism charges, has anything to do with rape and molestation charges in Sweeden. I never thought of Sweeden as an ass-kissing lapdog of the US, so it baffles me why a rational person would think he's more likely to be extradited to the US from Sweeden than from Great Britain. Personally I don't think Assange realises that he's not special enough to warrant all of the attention he's deluded himself into thinking the US is giving him.

  • by green1 (322787) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:47AM (#41046585)

    Hardly, the USA won't sign those treaties either... For that matter the USA won't generally sign any treaty that isn't horribly one-sided, and if they do in fact sign a treaty giving equal rights to both sides, they'll simply ignore it whenever it is inconvenient.
    The USA is the schoolyard bully of the international stage, they do things however they feel, whenever they feel, with no regard for the consequences, and can't understand why everyone isn't in love with them.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:08PM (#41046783)

    What is happening is that America (and most Americans) don't want the U.S. government to be subordinated below some global government.

    Ironic.

    We've already seen what happens when sovereignty is surrendered to a more universal government, and for the most part we don't want to see that happen again.

    Paranoia based on ignorance.

    You may like the fact that Germany is the same as Spain except for some quirky food and local slang differences

    Fucking ignorant.

    Have fun with your games in the European Union, but the American Union is already seen as too powerful (sort of implied by your statements above I should note).

    Delusional.

    If you are, get the hell out of here. If America is such a crappy country, you aren't wanted here either.

    I have a better suggestion: YOU get the fuck out of MY country, and go create your own ignorant utopia somewhere else. America isn't crap, but a good chunk of its people are ignorant, xenophobic, paranoid and have a gun fetish.

    Living in America as an ordinary citizen isn't nearly as bad as you make it out to be either.

    It would be a whole lot better if people like you wouldn't advocate for torture of "others" and be so fucking ignorant as to make it impossible to have a productive discussion about anything other than whether the Cowboys suck.

  • Re:However (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bgat (123664) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:18PM (#41046865) Homepage

    mostly they just vote to impose their morality on their neighbors, or to resist having their neighbors impose their morality on them.

    Most Americans follow a live-and-let-live philosophy. We do have a few very vocal minority groups who wish to impose their codes of morality on the rest of us, however. But I wouldn't suggest that the majority of our 350M+ population are attempting that unless you are prepared to bring citations.

    The American public finds it very comforting to believe that they are safe and free and an example to the world of how to do governance properly.

    Most Americans surveyed DO in fact believe that our system is better than many others. They also believe that is is far from perfect, though we disagree on where the areas are that need improvement---and what those improvements should be.

    In fact, the unchecked tyranny of the American government actually benefits most of the American people, as it ensures that Americans can continue to have their cheap goods and relatively steady jobs and not have to make any sacrifices to pay down the beyond-their-capacity-to-envision national debt.

    It is true that America's consumer-driven economy benefits us, and large segments of the rest of the world.

    As far as the size of our national debt, remember that we are a nation of 350+M people and the most productive economy in human history in both total and per-capita terms. As a percentage of our GDP, our national debt is much smaller than a typical American household's. And smaller than many other first-world households, too. It isn't unusual for an American to borrow 300% of their annual income in the form of a mortgage, for example; the USA's debt is roughly one tenth of that, at interest rates that make the money nearly free.

    Granted, "a few trillions of dollars" is an astoundingly-large number. But without context, the number is meaningless. You have a few trillion cells in your body, for example, and several trillion sub-atomic particles pass through your person every second (coming from the Sun and elsewhere, but I digress). So what?

    Therefore, anyone who points out the real injustices perpetuated by the American government, most Americans just write it off as conspiracy theory nonsense, without expending the slightest modicum of effort at checking the facts.

    Actually, ordinary Americans seem interested to hear when our government does wrong. But they don't want to hear hyperbole: Faux News has pretty much saturated our ability to listen to that crap. But bring a well-researched, reasoned, and relevant example, and we're more likely than not to listen.

  • Re:Go to China (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:31PM (#41046945)

    Just because someplace else is worse, doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to the problems we have here. And the situation here has clearly been deteriorating.

    Since you brought it up, let's take 1989 for an example:

    In 1989, the US was a place people fled TO, in order to get AWAY from repressive governments; not the government doing the repressing.

    In 1989, you could go on that trip to Thailand without being irradiated with backscatter x-rays, taking you shoes and belt off, or getting felt up by some thug at the airport; and your friends or family could accompany you to the departure gate to see you off.

    In 1989, you could pop over to some of the closer countries such as Canada, Mexico, or The Bahamas, for a visit; and be re-admitted to the US with nothing more than your drivers' license.

    In 1989, no one had heard of a "free speech zone". The entire *country* was a free speech zone.

    In 1989, you could go to concerts, amusement parks, nightclubs, and ballparks without being groped by some thug, having to show the contents of your pockets, backpack, or purse to another, going through a metal detector, or being under constant 1984-ish CCTV surveillance.

    Maybe we're still free enough, in comparison to countries like China, to be considered "the land of the free". But we've been becoming progressively less free for years.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wierd_w (1375923) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:34PM (#41046969)

    There has been a very strong and pernicious trend in the US in the last 25 years or so.

    That trend, is to dig in, become a recalcitrant ass, and tell everyone else that they are wrong, supertroll-style.

    This is purely speculation, and observation, and will surely reek of bullshit and tinfoil hattery; all the same, here it goes.

    The US has developed a culture that, for the past decade at least, fosters a climate of refusing personal liability and culpability. NOBODY wants to accept the natural or legal consequences of their actions. Drive with the dash protecting sun-screen still on the dash? NOT YOUR FAULT! The maker of the sun-screen forgot to put a warning label on, telling you not to be an idiot! Nevermind that it would be completely impossible to see through an OPAQUE device, INTENDED to block light! No, you're an AMERICAN, you are special, and if that company didnt give you a written warning, YOU DESERVE MILLIONS!

    This mentality has fostered several unfortunate trends as a consequence.

    Firstly, culpability is now tied to foreknowledge. The stupider you can make yourself appear to be (or actually be), the more protected you are from guilt! Naturally, this results in Americans who want to use things they know practically nothing about, absolutely dont know what makes those things work, and makes them staunchly refuse to learn such things, because if they did, they would become legally and culturally liable if they fuck up.

    Secondly, it creates a CYA culture. Going to knowingly fuck somebody over? PLAUSIBLE DENI-ABILITY bitches!

    Here's the Tinfoil hat prediction now:

    Should the US continue down its track, it will not quite resemble Nazi germany. Germany had a central authority. The US wont have one. It will continue to have theoretical checks and balances, for the sole purpose of creating catch 22s for trapping and demasculating attempts to pin culpability for government wrongdoing. Much like seen here, with this government reply to Assange. "Oh, I'm just a senator, I cant fix that!" or "I'm just the president! The congress and senate make the laws! I just enforce them!"

    The result would be a lumbering steamroller of runaway government, with no controls. Because without controls, how can you be responsible for what it does?

    The same "I dont know about those things, so you cant blame me for them" defense is used everywhere over here, and is why people dont know about the bullshit this country does. People who DO take an interest are considered political nutjobs, or just plain strange. "Why would you even care about that?" etc.

    The cultural situation is clearly fucked. But of course, nobody will look at it.

    And, as previously demonstrated in this thread, the people who do point it out are told to shut the fuck up, and go away. (because spreading awareness is the same as spreading liability, which our culture pathologically avoids and projects onto others.)

    Go america. Show the world how to REALLY become a despotic nightmare place to live. Remember, it's not your fault if you refuse to learn things! Its the teachers for failing to teach you!

  • by Pikewake (217555) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:40PM (#41047009)

    Let's assume that the conspiracy theories are right for a second. Somehow U.S. agencies are behind the charges against Assange in Sweden and believe they have enough control over the Swedish judicial system, and in extension the Swedish government, to get him delivered into their hands.
    Even if we assume that Sweden is an U.S. lapdog, we're still talking about a relatively open society, so this might be harder to do than in some other countries, but for the argument's sake: They really want to get Assange.
    Knowing all this, what does Assange do? Try to escape to Ecuador, of course, because the same agencies who managed to arrange the situation in Sweden will have no chance of getting to him there. I mean, who have ever heard of U.S. clandestine operations in South America? And of course the government and courts of Ecuador is much less corrupt than those of Sweden.

    Anyone else see a problem with this theory?

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by garett_spencley (193892) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:43PM (#41047033) Journal

    If this is more of that "state's rights" bullshit, let me remind you once again: the original and most powerful argument both for and against state's rights was slavery.

    If this is more of that "democracy" bullshit, let me remind you once again: Hitler was elected democratically!

    Sorry for Godwin'ing the argument, but I'm using it to make a point. You can attack religious freedom, for example, by pointing out that some religions practice various forms of abuse, but that's just a red herring; it's package dealing. It evades all logical argument by drawing a correlation between what you are trying to attack with something that no one would dare want to come across as defending. It's actually extremely cowardly and demonstrates a lack of willingness to persuade by instead appealing to emotions.

    As for the strongest argument in favour of "state's rights" I would think it's that people are better represented by those more closely associated and concerned with their locales and rationalities. The USA is a big place and the entire earth even bigger. There are certain, inalienable individual rights that ought be respected and upheld across jurisdiction (I don't care where my rights are being infringed upon if it's wrong it's wrong), but as for the vast majority of laws and regulations affecting day to day life the more local the government the better represented the citizens of that locale. So of course it extends to "county rights" and "municipal rights." In fact, for an extremely relevant example I would think the strongest recent argument in favour of states rights would be drug laws, and how many states have legalized medical marijuana only to have their laws superseded by the federal government.

    Furthermore, I submit that slavery is an extremely poor argument for state's rights ("most powerful" ? please) and I only ever hear that from the opposition, given that rights extend to all equally. No one has the right to infringe on the rights of others. Therefore states have no "right" to enforce and protect the institution of slavery. No reasonable person could put forth slavery as a valid argument in favour of "rights." So stop trying to lump one group in with another in order to win an argument without having to argue in the first place. It's lazy and cowardly and slashdotters ought to expect more from individuals priding themselves on being intelligent.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:22PM (#41047315) Journal

    Riiight, after one of the "rape victims" left him alone, sleeping in her bed the sleep of the well fucked and what did she do when she was away from her "rapist"? She...went and bought him breakfast, followed by screwing him AGAIN after he ate. Does that SOUND like rape to you? Frankly it sounds like an insult to every woman that has ever been raped to me. Oh and the other one BRAGGED she had the Wikileaks guy as her BOYFRIEND. You're gonna brag about your rapist? I don't think so.

    He asked the cops multiple times in Sweden before he took a single step out of the country if they wanted to speak with him and they said no. Swedish law says clearly they can question him anywhere, including where he is at now. Ecuador asked for a simple statement from the UK and Sweden that this wasn't some bullshit to give him a rendition ride to the USA and they refused...over a rape charge? BULLSHIT.

    The Swedes and Brits are bowing down and kissing the ring like good little toadies and his ass will NEVER make it to Sweden, hell I doubt the Swedes would even land the plane, they'd just divert to the nearest USA military base where he can enjoy a nice waterboarding or drugging before they drop him in a box somewhere.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmack (197796) <gmackNO@SPAMinnerfire.net> on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:25PM (#41047331) Homepage Journal

    This is what I don't understand about the current conspiracy theory: Why would the US involve Sweden? I mean do the math. How many people has Sweden extradited to the US and how many people has the UK?

    If the US wanted him they could just ask the UK to hand him over since I doubt anyone remembers the last time the UK refused a US extradition request.

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:37PM (#41047403)

    charges being piled against him by various governments

    Which charges have been piled against him by which governments? Please be specific.

    Of course you know you're being a shrill, bleating goat-troll, since no charges have been made against him by any government, only complaints by two women about which police in Sweden simply want to interview him. Which you know. Which makes your frantic panties-in-a-knot rhetoric exactly as silly as it sounds.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HuguesT (84078) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:54PM (#41047521)

    Sweden is a democracy with extradition laws. Assange may never get his day in court. Personally I totally believe the possibility that the US would want to question Assange and detain him indefinitely, regardless of the international outcry. The USA is also a democracy, with a place like Guantanamo Bay, which is still running.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rbrander (73222) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:03PM (#41047579) Homepage

    1) Naomi Wolf has been following this case since 2010:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/post_1435_b_797188.html [huffingtonpost.com] ...long enough to look up all the Swedish law and case histories she doesn't already have, particularly since the article above contains the news: "Well, I was in Denmark in March of this year at a global gathering for women leaders on International Women's Day, and heard extensively from specialists in sex crime and victims' rights in Sweden." ...that's March of 2010, nearly 30 months ago.

    2) Unusual case, indeed, but nothing about its unusual-ness relates to whether the original complaint merited charges, not after the original prosecutor declined to charge and a prosecutor clear across Sweden took the very, ahem, unusual step of deciding to re-start a case from outside their normal jurisdiction (it's federal, so they *could*, but it's very...unusual).

    3) She is hardly accusing "the entire Swedish political elite", she just notes the Rove connection without drawing conclusions. The Rove story has been very hot in Sweden, because Rove is considered by many to have won elections in his past by abuses of the legal system, including, it is said, planting a bug in his own office and getting an investigation of his client's opponent started on the basis of it; and involvement in the framing of an Alabama politician for corruption, as reported by 60 minutes:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/21/60minutes/main3859830.shtml [cbsnews.com]

    It's quite normal for Karl Rove to have no provable connection at all to things that happen when he's around - like his old law partner starting the swift boat organization. People have generally started to regard him as smoke and start looking for fire.

    I might add - it's funny for you to regard Naomi Wolf as unable to comment on Swedish law because she's American, but regard as obvious that Swedish politicians would look to an American for electoral advice in their very different system (no state-level, no third branch of government, no electoral college - it's a constitutional monarchy with a parliament).

    Sweden is a democracy, can't argue with that one. It's just a democracy that helped with extraordinary rendition of suspects to where they were tortured - so you can kind of understand somebody's reluctance to hand themselves over to their tender mercies; the rendered guys never got that day in court of which you speak.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:18PM (#41047699)

    You go into valid points about the rape, but you missed the big one: how many "surprise sex" rapists are internationally hunted and extradicted on the level of a terrorist? I mean seriously, would you expect Australia or Sweden to go after every internationally-based guy who slept with a woman without a condom to the point of shutting down embassies? The sheer amount of effort going on here for a less-than-violent rape is ridiculous, and it wouldn't happen for almost anyone except Assange. Great efforts for something low on the rape scale.

    Could it be that really they are seeking Assange for his Wikileaks efforts instead?

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grumbleduke (789126) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:36PM (#41047789) Journal

    The Swedes have travelled to other countries to interview people. Why not Julian Assange?

    Because they don't want to just interview him. They want to interview him as part of their prosecution procedure, where the interview is a formal sit-down-and-discuss-things-before-charging thing and (from my limited understanding of Swedish criminal procedural rules) they can't do the latter part outside Sweden, or at least, when he isn't in their custody. In the other cases (I don't have the facts to hand, nor have I read them, but would happily do so), it may be that the interview was pre-arrest warrant, rather than post-arrest warrant as in this case?

    Secondly, why should the Swedes deal with him on his terms? He's accused of committing a crime, they have got a valid arrest warrant, and want to arrest him. He's being uncooperative and fighting them at every step (both legally and now illegally). Why should they go out of their way to make it easier on him?

    Also, what makes Swedish soil easier for the USians to get at him on than any other soil, particularly English soil?

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cederic (9623) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:56PM (#41047899) Journal

    Hang on? You think it's right to _vote_ for who should be a judge?

    I'd rather have intelligent trained professionals that have demonstrated their ability and fitness for the job than fucking politicians.

  • maximum penalty (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @04:45PM (#41048695)
    From what I understand, the maximum penalty he could receive is less than the time he already served "in custody" in the UK, plus a rather small fine, relatively speaking. Also, he is not wanted for a trial, but only for questioning. The Swedish police so far have not taken up the invitation to question Assange in the UK, personally, via teleconference or in writing. Even if he was extradited and went to trial in Sweden and indeed found guilty, they could only make him pay the small fine, since the time he spent in custody in the UK will count as well. The whole "witch hunt" has no merit, he already went to jail, is being restricted against his will for a long period and I doubt that he'd mind paying the fine if the result would be that he'd be able to walk around free again. Things just don't add up, there must be an alternate agenda behind all this. Don't get me wrong, this is not about Assange being right or innocent, this is about an extradition request that makes no sense.
  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:02PM (#41048815)

    That's not how America works. We've got people who obtain education and business loans via programs supported at public expense, then claim that they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and owe society nothing at all. You really think we will feel any debt to some dudes that have been dead for almost two centuries?

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blind monkey 3 (773904) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:50PM (#41049085)
    What U.S. laws did Assange break?
  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TranquilVoid (2444228) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:09PM (#41050889)

    Does that SOUND like rape to you?

    No and yes. This is not uncommon behaviour for rape victims, motivated by denial and guilt. The human mind is very good at compartmentalising contradictory things. Of course the actual crime is "sexual misdemeanour". The connotations of rape are very different.

    Swedish law says clearly they can question him anywhere, including where he is at now.

    However they appear to be wanting to question him with the intent to charge him. That doesn't work over the phone - "Mr Assange, based on your answers we charge you with sexual misconduct. Could you please come over so we can fine and/or gaol you?"

    Ecuador asked for a simple statement from the UK and Sweden that this wasn't some bullshit to give him a rendition ride to the USA and they refused

    No, Ecuador asked Sweden to promise that they wouldn't extradite him to the U.S. over an unrelated, hypothetical charge and extradition request. They cannot promise the outcome of a trial before it is needed or actually occurs.

    I would like to see them actually be asked this though; to confirm or deny whether they have had any discussions with the U.S. on extradition or made any deals. Such information would probably be classified as uncommentable due to being an 'ongoing investigation'.

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