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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.

    • "Witchunt" (Score:5, Funny)

      by Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:34AM (#41045483)
      Meanwhile, Anonymous threatened Slashdot editors that if they continue to neglect their responsibilities, the consequences will never be the same. Here's Tom with the weather.
      • 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:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Informative)

          by Antarius (542615) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:07AM (#41045759)
          I thought that too, until the leaking of the cables saying that they were. [slashdot.org]
          • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Informative)

            by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:43AM (#41046549)

            Those cables don't say what you think they say. They say Australian diplomats think the US eventually intends to extradite Assange, and believe that Assange is currently being investigated by someone in the US Government. That should not surprise anybody. Somebody is definitely keeping an eye on Assange, because Wikileaks managed to hurt US Government interests badly. "Keeping an eye on" constitutes an investigation. And if you're not a cop you could easily conclude that they wouldn't investigate him if they had no intention of charging him with a crime.

            He's not gonna be charged with anything by the US Government. As a guy who is put on trial for releasing diplomatic cables he's a major embarrassment. As a freedom of information advocate whose trying to flee to Ecuador (which opposes freedom of information) to dodge rape charges? Even if he's vindicated by the Swedes he's a punchline. They'll keep on eye on him just in case, but they ain't gonna make him a martyr.

            Seriously. The major reason I don't think the CIA has anything to do with his current plight is simple: I don't think the CIA is that good. I don't think it's humanly possible to be that good.

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

              by the_B0fh (208483) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:58AM (#41046687) Homepage

              Have you read this? Karl Rove is personally advising the Swedish govt on how to expedite him.

              http://www.readability.com/m?url=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FG6iMlJ3G [readability.com]

            • by mr_lizard13 (882373) on Monday August 20, 2012 @01:03AM (#41051433)
              Sorry for being a pedant, (and this doesn't counter the point you are making) but he isn't wanted on rape charges; no charge has been made against him.

              He is wanted for questioning, and has offered to be questioned for the last 18 months whilst in London. An offer which has been rejected.

              As it stands right now, he does not have a case to answer as no charge has been presented to him.
          • 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.

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

          by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:04AM (#41046219) Homepage

          Perhaps this video might represent a different view http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRBv2qHx02s&feature=em-subs_digest [youtube.com] and that's not me, although I'd likely bear a resemblance.

          The US in it's typical ignorance and arrogance has pushed the whole all out of proportion and dragging everyone else into it Sweden, UK and Australia. What should have been a simple matter was blown all out of proportion, with that stupid Interpol warrant and from there it was all down hill. Pompous wankers is a pretty accurate description for the US government.

          Perhaps wikileaks needs to separate itself from Julian Assange and Julian Assange needs to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unkIVvjZc9Y&feature=fvst [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.

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

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:49AM (#41045597)
      • 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.
      • 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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:27AM (#41045425)

    He tricked the Police:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu1TZVX72Aw&t=4m9s

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:38AM (#41045509)

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

      Read this article [t.co] written by Naomi Wolf

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shentino (1139071)

      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

      • 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 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 TheP4st (1164315) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:40PM (#41047435)

          Why bother with legalities?

          "Extraordinary rendition provoked a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Sweden in 2006 when Swedish authorities put a stop to CIA rendition flights.In December 2001 Swedish police detained Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery, two Egyptians who had been seeking asylum in Sweden. The police took them to Bromma airport in Stockholm, and then stood aside as masked alleged CIA operatives cut their clothes from their bodies, inserted drugged suppositories in their anuses, and dressed them in diapers and overalls, handcuffed and chained them and put them on an executive jet with American registration N379P. They were flown to Egypt, where they were imprisoned, beaten, and tortured according to an extensive investigate reports by Swedish programme "Kalla fakta". A Swedish Parliamentary investigator concluded that the degrading and inhuman treatment of the two prisoners violated Swedish law.In 2006 the United Nations found Sweden had violated an international torture ban in its complicity in the CIA's transfer of l-Zari to Egypt.Sweden imposed strict rules on rendition flights, but Swedish Military Intelligence posing as airport personnel who boarded one of two subsequent extraordinary rendition flights in 2006 during a stopover at Stockholm’s Arlanda International Airport found the Swedish restrictions were being ignored.In 2008 the Swedish government awarded al-Zery $500,000 in damages for the abuse he received in Sweden and the subsequent torture in Egypt."

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition#Sweden [wikipedia.org]

      • 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 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 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 green1 (322787) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:34AM (#41046473)

        Minor (or actually pretty major) nitpick... there are no rape charges. He hasn't been charged with anything. he was wanted for questioning. He was already questioned once in Sweden, he was told he was free to go, so he left, then they decided to ask him again, he even offered to be questioned in the UK, Sweden said no. He offered to be questioned in the embassy, Sweden said no. He offered to go to Sweden if they promised not to extradite him to the USA, they refused to guarantee that.

  • Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:34AM (#41045485) Journal

    Assange spoke today -- Sunday. That statement by the U.S. was released two days ago in response to Ecuador calling for a meeting of the OAS. It was *NOT* in response to Mr. Assange's speech, as the summary implies.

  • 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]

  • but but (Score:3, Funny)

    by Surt (22457) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:38AM (#41045517) Homepage Journal

    Every TV cop show says that if the suspect makes it onto embassy property they are untouchable!
    The TV lies ... my reality is ruined!

    • by mrbester (200927)

      Because the TV cop show is right (if the embassy belongs to a country that honours diplomatic immunity and possibly political asylum). The fact that the US doesn't recognise political asylum is immaterial. Ecuador does and has a duty of care for anyone accorded that protection.

      The US can't crash the party and then claim that the music isn't to their taste.

  • by kokako (2499876) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:36AM (#41046487)
    This editorial from today's Sydney Morning Herald is of interest. Key quote: "The case is a dark hole of legal and human rights suspicions that needs the light of transparent judicial process." Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/editorial/assange-the-superpower-and-the-little-nation-that-wont-give-him-up-20120819-24gc7.html#ixzz240iu0lzQ [smh.com.au]
  • 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?

  • Pentagon Papers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:38PM (#41047409)

    Pentagon Papers

    Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. —Justice Black

    NEW YORK TIMES CO. v. UNITED STATES, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=403&invol=713 [findlaw.com]

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