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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought asylum from the Ecuador Embassy in London. As a signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Embassy has an obligation to review his application and should grant it.

Asylum eligibility has three requirements, all of which Assange meets: 1) a well-founded fear of persecution, 2) on account of a protected ground (in Assange's case, "political opinion"), and 3) a government is either involved in the persecution (in Assange's case, the United States) or unable to control the conduct of private actors.

After Britain rejected Asange's bid to reconsider extradition to Sweden to face questioning over sexual misconduct allegations (Assange has not been charged with any crime by any nation), Assange sought asylum from the Ecuador Embassy in London.

Under the criteria that even the U.S. follows, he qualifies.  Few would contest that he has a valid fear of political persecution.  And certainly a government, primarily the United States, is behind it.  The Pentagon launched a world-wide manhunt against Assange. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote an Op-Ed stating conclusively that

Mr. Assange continues to violate the Espionage Act of 1917
. . . a law the United States has used in a brutal crackdown on whistleblowers, often involving trumped up criminal charges. (See the case of my client and fellow Kossack Tom Drake.)

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated:

The actions taken by WikiLeaks are not only deplorable, irresponsible, and reprehensible--they could have major impacts on our national security
. . . fear-mongering impacts that have not be borne out over the past two years. On top of this, as Glenn Greenwald points out, if Assange were to be extradited to Sweden, Sweden has a nasty history of turning over asylum applicants to the CIA, which rendered two of them to Egypt to be tortured (the U.N. Human Rights Committee later found Sweden in violation of the global ban on torture for this extraordinary rendition.)

I discussed this on Russian TV (RT) last night:

RT, BTW, recently aired Assange's interview of Ecuador's President, Rafeal Correa, for Assange's television program.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The U.S. doesn't need Assange (19+ / 0-)

    to solve the "Wikileaks problem." Implementing strong whistleblower protections would deter whistleblowers from turning to Wikileaks in the absence of safe internal channels.

  •  You should have heard NPR (18+ / 0-)

    distributing propaganda this morning about it, doing their best to smear Correa.  It was shameful, even for NPR's low standards.

    Don't ever expect NPR to discuss the extent to which the CIA has been working to undermine the Ecuadorian government under Correa.

    Obama 2012: For More Wars!

    by chipmo on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:44:02 AM PDT

  •  So we have to buy that Wikileaks is mere political (4+ / 0-)

    activity in order for him to be eligible to be considered "persecuted", right? If he broke laws, is he still eligible?

  •  Won't matter (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yellowdog, Ellid, Rei, Tiger in BlueDenver, FG

    Equador can only protect him while he is at their embassy - once he leaves (say to go to the airport) he's fair game.

    THis guy needs to go to Sweden and face the music - he is accused of rape and should face a jury.  I have confidence that Sweden would give him a fair trial.

    His biggest concern if he was to be found not guilty of the rape accusations would be would Sweden turn him over to the US to face potential charges for the leaks.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:55:26 AM PDT

    •  Sweden merely wants to question him. (23+ / 0-)

      He can't "face a jury" because he's never been charged!

      Lots of whistleblowers face pretextual criminal accusations (e.g., Tom Drake being accused of retaining classified information) that are used to shut them up.

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:14:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So go and answer the questions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zornorph

        Let's put it this way - if it was, say Mitt Romney who was facing these questions - I'm sure we'd all be giving him such a benefit of the doubt...right?

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:39:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If all Sweden wanted was to question him, (18+ / 0-)

          given the extraordinary circumstances of Assange's house arrest, there are numerous ways Sweden could have accomplished that, e.g., via Skype.

          My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

          by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:47:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not really that simple. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yellowdog

            There are procedures in place in criminal investigations, whether in the US, UK, or Sweden.  Those procedures have not caught up with technology, for one thing.  For another, police interrogation techniques widely in use worldwide wouldn't work over an internet connection.  The officer needs to be able to see things like, for example, body language exhibited by the accused.  Or to look in his eyes while the accused answers questions.  Even such old-time tactics such as "good cop-bad cop" simply wouldn't work over Skype.  There is an intimidation factor involved, however slight, in just being in an interrogation room that puts the accused on edge and often leads to a confession.

            A note here: despite the above comment, I do agree with you that these allegations are likely politically motivated, and instigated by the US government.  I do not support the extradition of Assange to Sweden, because as you point out they have a history of rendition at American behest.  I just wanted to play devil's advocate here for why a police interview by Skype wouldn't work.

            •  Well, as I recall it ... (10+ / 0-)

              he did offer quite early on to be interviewed in person by Swedish investigators in Britain - provided his counsel could be present.

              I have yet to see an explanation of why the Swedish prosecutor refused that offer.

              “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

              by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:02:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We don't know exactly what was offered (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                downsouth, Rei, Tiger in BlueDenver

                Assange has given us his version of what was offered up as a compromise to the Swedes.

                And we know that we can't trust the word of Assange, based upon multiple untruths he's been caught in. He's lied to friends and colleagues. He told us that he didn't know where the documents came from - except we'e learned that he actually did know who and where they came from.

                And this is after he left Sweden when he already knew that they wanted to interview him. This is after he claimed he only left temporarily - yet he never voluntarily returned. He took advantage of their reluctance to arrest him without interviewing him first and left the country so that he could avoid being interviewed.

                I really like the politician John Edwards. I dislike the man he is, and the husband he apparently was to Elizabeth Edwards. I can, as a mature adult, separate those two things and can judge him as such. You, and others like you, seem to be unable to accept that you like whistleblowers, and that some whistleblowers might be men who commit sexual assaults and then run from accountability for those sexual assaults.

                •  It seems to me ... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chipmo, susakinovember, Eric Blair

                  the Swedish investigators could have easily resolved that question.  Just fly to London and publicly announce your taking Assange up on his offer to be interviewed.  If at that point he refuses, that whole line of defense against extradition would be eliminated.

                  And I have ventured no opinion whatsoever about his guilt or innocence of the sexual accusations.  It seems to me it's his critics who are attempting to conflate these issues in an effort to shame those who support his Wikileaks activities by implying they are supporting or tolerating rape.

                  “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                  by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:23:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again, you do not know what was offered (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rei

                    And it's not HIS "critics" who are conflating these issues! I swear, did you NOT read this very diary? It's people like JR who are conflating the two issues!

                    The two things are entirely separate - yet you miss that very conflation in this very diary and in JR's other diaries on this topic? Really?

                    •  Come on now ... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Eric Blair, tommymet

                      How hard is this?  Assange claims he made an offer and the Swedes rejected it.  All the Swedes need to do is say to the press "no, we'd be delighted to take that offer - we're on our way now."  If Assange then dodges the interview, that claim is forever gone from his arsenal of defenses.  Doing that would have cost the Swedes essentially nothing compared to the cost of the course they chose instead.

                      And I just skimmed through the diary again - nowhere does the diarist claim Assange is innocent.  Neither have I claimed that.  So how are we conflating?  What, precisely, has either of us said that supports your claim that we cannot "accept that you like whistleblowers, and that some whistleblowers might be men who commit sexual assaults and then run from accountability for those sexual assaults?"

                      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                      by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:29:33 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Your facts are screwy. (7+ / 0-)

                  Assange WAS questioned in Stockholm about the accusations.  The chief prosecutor there deemed them not worthy of Assange's arrest - twice.

                  Twice, that prosecutor was overruled by higher-ups in the government.

                  By the time the new, more senior prosecutor decided to reopen the investigation, Assange was already in England and rightfully, IMHO - worried about returning to Sweden.

              •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

                And perhaps, in this one case, Sweden should have considered that offer  It allows the questioning, in person, without subjecting Mr. Assange to the risk of rendition or extradition to the United States.

                However, I can see where a government may not want to set such a precedent.  Why should Sweden, or any other government, have to pay air fare and lodging for a prosecutor and police officials to travel to a foreign country to question suspects?  When you consider how many people can be involved in a high-stakes police interrogation, you see that it would cost a lot of money to question him in the UK.  Of course, arrangements could be made for the suspect to pay such costs, but they would have to be paid up front I would imagine.  Sweden, or any other nation, would not want to trust a suspect to repay such costs.

                You also run into the problem of jurisdiction.  The Swedish officials would have no jurisdiction inside the UK.  They would be completely reliant on the UK government to, say, arrest the suspect should the questioning determine that a crime was committed that, under Swedish law, warrants arrest.  No sovereign nation wants to subject its powers, such as power of arrest, to the whims of a foreign nation.  Refusal of the UK to make the arrest would be a very embarrassing international incident for Sweden...not worth the risk, from their perspective.

                •  Well, if he could be sent to the USA, money OK (0+ / 0-)

                  What are you saying?

                  The cost of sending people to UK is the deciding factor?

                  The neo cons would fund that in a second.

                •  If the result of the interview (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Don midwest, Eric Blair, tommymet

                  were that they decided to formally charge Assange, then the extradition process would have been a simple formality rather than a year-long legal battle.  And how much have the Swedes spent on a years worth of battling in court?  I'd venture it was a hell of a lot more than they would have spent on airfare and hotel rooms.

                  “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                  by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:30:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  That's baloney (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ellid, Rei, Tiger in BlueDenver

            Cops don't let potential criminals set the boundaries about how an interview/interrogation will happen. And, on top of that, after he gives his version of events, if they were to determine that he was not more credible than the two women who were his accusers, they'd want to arrest him right then, and so that's why they aren't willing to do an interview via Skype.

            Really, your arguments on this case have been repeatedly debunked in previous months. Why do you continue to push the same ones?

            Just because some whistleblowers have been unfairly targeted, that doesn't mean that everyone who tries to claim whistleblower status is being unfairly targeted. Many black men have been unfairly targeted by cops ove the decades - that doesn't mean that every black man who is arrested is being unfairly targeted. Many who are arrested are guilty of crimes and so are fairly targeted, and it seems likely that Julian Assange is guilty, per Swedish law, of sexual assault for having sex without a condom when he had committed to using a condom and for initiating sex while another person was asleep, again without a condom.

            You want that men should be able to get away with tha kind of behavior without any sanctions? Really?

            •  I agree with this post (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rei

              Thank you.

            •  Really? (6+ / 0-)

              Cops never interview suspects in some foreign country rather than going through a lengthy formal extradition process?

              I don't believe that's an accurate claim.

              “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

              by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:48:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The FBI interview people all over the world (8+ / 0-)

                "The Man Who Warned America" describes a dedicated CIA official who could have stopped 9-11

                He was kicked out of the FBI

                He tracked down the people who did the bombing at the 93 bombing in Pakistan in a couple of days

                They were extradited and tried in US courts. You know, regular US courts. Like we did things in the old days.

                His name is John O'Neill.

              •  Did I say that? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rei

                No, I didn't - but thanks for raising that strawman argument and then knocking it down. You're right in saying that that wouldn't be an accurate claim - but I didn't even come close to making any like that claim.

                And thanks for ignoring the context of the post I made and the post was replying to. Cops do not allow potential criminals to set the boundaries about an interrogation without their agreement to those boundaries. The Swedes did NOT agree to the terms that Assange tried to set.

                I wrote

                Cops don't let potential criminals set the boundaries about how an interview/interrogation will happen.
                A potential criminal setting the boundaries is NOT equivalent to a potential criminal and his defense team coming to an agreement with the cops and a prosecutor about how an interrogation will proceed.
                •  Rule of law allows negotiation of these issues (3+ / 0-)

                  not a black and white case like you are painting it

                  and this is not at the level of cops - this is in the arena of judges, prosecutors and attorneys

                  if you support the rule of law, then any defendant must be allowed all avenues to challenge an allegation

                  •  I didn't claim it was black and white (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rei

                    Not ever - but again, thanks for raising a strawman argument and then knocking it down, and then crowing about it.

                    Just because negotiations happen, that doesn't mean that there's something wrong with the folks in Sweden declining to accept Assange's offer to be interviewed via Skype. As I've repeatedly said, cops (shorthand for law enforcement - c'mon, you're going to claim THAT bogus sideshow about who controls the interrogation of Assange, when it's typically cops, and not prosecutors, judges and attorneys who do interrogations?) don't allow potential criminals to decide how, when and where an interrogation will happen.

                    Simple, basic, and easy to understand, and impossible to refute too, and so the assertion by JR that Sweden was unreasonable in not allowing him to be interrogated via Skype is disingenuous at best.

                    Assange had committed to be interviewed. In Sweden, an attempt to interview a potential criminal must happen before they can be officially arrested, and Assange took advantage of that quirk in Swedish jurisprudence to flee the country. That's a fact. He was going to be given, and will still be given, all avenues to challenge the criminal allegations. That doesn't give him the right to flee the country to avoid prosecution.

                •  Huh? (5+ / 0-)

                  You're all over the place on this.

                  A potential criminal setting the boundaries is NOT equivalent to a potential criminal and his defense team coming to an agreement with the cops and a prosecutor about how an interrogation will proceed.
                  In other words, someone accused of a crime, but not charged with that crime, can negotiate the terms of a police interrogation but can't set boundaries?

                  What, exactly, are you trying to say?

                  •  I swear, it ain't rocket science (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rei

                    A potential criminal and his legal team can be part of negotiations about how an interrogation can proceed, but they do NOT get to unilaterally decide how it will proceed.

                    They cannot set the boundaries themselves. Can they participate in a joint agreement to set the boundaries? Of course. But they don't get to whine and call 'foul' when their ultimatums aren't agreed to.

                    And that's the assertion that JR tried to make above - that Sweden rejected the proposed Skype interrogation, and rejected other offers - the Swedes get to do that. Accused and their legal teams don't get to set the boundaries and then assert that they're being treated unfairly when everything doesn't go their way.

                    I'm not "all over the place" in any way, shape or form. I'm quite consistent on this topic, and have been for the past 18 months.

                    Here's an analogy. A prosecutor requests that a guilty criminal accept a plea bargain for a serious crime and agree to a 10 year term. The defense attorney asks for probation, since the crime isn't likely to be repeated They agree to a 2 year prison term and 5 years probation.

                    The defense attorney doesn't get to whine that his offer of probation was denied, and that he's being treated unfairly - it's a negotiation. The defense attorney doesn't get to determine what punishment the criminal will face. He gets to participate in the negotiations on the punishment that his client will face, but he doesn't get to determine them unilaterally.

                    Understand now?

                    •  No...you haven't made it any clearer. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tonedevil, happymisanthropy, MadRuth

                      All your talk of 'potential criminals' (uh, in more precise language:  'innocent people' accused but not charged with a crime -- just like, say, you OR me) not having rights or a say in how they are questioned by the police is absurd on its face.

                      Here's an analogy. A prosecutor requests that a guilty criminal accept a plea bargain for a serious crime and agree to a 10 year term. The defense attorney asks for probation, since the crime isn't likely to be repeated They agree to a 2 year prison term and 5 years probation.

                      The defense attorney doesn't get to whine that his offer of probation was denied, and that he's being treated unfairly - it's a negotiation. The defense attorney doesn't get to determine what punishment the criminal will face. He gets to participate in the negotiations on the punishment that his client will face, but he doesn't get to determine them unilaterally.

                      So now we've gone beyond how the accused are treated to how the convicted are treated.  There's a world of difference between the rights of the accused and the lost rights of the convicted.  Btw, that's not how plea bargains work.  Plea bargains are offered to defendants PRIOR to conviction in order to secure a conviction -- because a conviction is not guaranteed, so a defendant is given the option of pleading guilty to a lesser charge.  Not post-conviction.  Your analogy is convoluted.
                      •  Do you not understand analogies? (0+ / 0-)

                        Analogies are SIMILAR in some ways and DIFFERENT in other ways.

                        This has nothing to do with accused versus convicted. It has to do with one side unilaterally making a decision versus a negotiation between two parties! I swear, again, it ain't rocket science.

                        Your grasp of logic is worse than convoluted.

                        Here's another analogy. A builder wants to put homes 12 feet apart in a new subdivision that will be alongside another subdivision where homes are at least 30 feet apart. The existing subdivision argues that the spacing in the newer subdivision will hurt their existing home values, and demand that the homes in the new area also be spaced 30 feet apart. The builder presents a valid argument as to why he can't make a sufficient profit if he does it the way that they want, and so they negotiate an agrement that the Building and Planning Commission agrees to - that the homes in the new subdivision be no closer than 20 feet apart and that there be a greenspace buffer between the two neighborhoods so that the closer spacing in that newer development can't be readily seen from the older development.

                        A fair-minded B&P Commission won't allow one side to unilaterally dictate the building plans of a developer, nor will they allow the other side to unilaterally diminish the property values of the existing subdivision! Neither side gets to decide how the plots of land will be subdivided, just like

                        Cops don't let potential criminals set the boundaries about how an interview/interrogation will happen.
                        Plea bargains are used for a variety of reasons - but the main reason is so that valuable resources are reserved. Guilty criminals are allowed to plea to a crime and go along with a sentencing agreement. They are ver rarely used in the way that you see on TV crime dramas - where, as you assert, a conviction is not guaranteed and so they're offered, mid trial, to avoid a potential finding of not guilty. 90% of defendents never go to court and instead accept plea agreements, and it's because the vast majority of those defendents are guilty of the crimes they're eventually convicted of and often many other crimes that they weren't charged with.

                        Simply because a defendent hasn't been found guilty in a court of law doesn't mean that they aren't guilty of the crime. I explained this in another post. It simply means that they haven't been found guilty in a court of law. That doesn't mean that they aren't guilty.

                        •  Analogies must bear some resemblance... (5+ / 0-)

                          ...to what is being compared.  

                          Nowhere did I say that most plea bargains happen mid-trial.  They can happen at ANY stage of a criminal proceeding once a person has been charged with a crime.  Once a defendant has been convicted, however, there can be no plea bargain.  It's no longer called a plea bargain.

                          Assange is not a defendant in a criminal proceeding.  He has not been charged with a crime.  He has not been offered a lesser charge.  He stands accused, not charged, of sexually assaulting two women.  

                          Simply because a defendent hasn't been found guilty in a court of law doesn't mean that they aren't guilty of the crime. I explained this in another post. It simply means that they haven't been found guilty in a court of law. That doesn't mean that they aren't guilty.
                          Actually, that's PRECISELY what it means.  But the opposite is NOT true:  Just because someone has been convicted of a crime does not mean that they are actually guilty of having committed that crime.  I can see how this could confuse you, but it's not Rocket Science.
                      •  Why would a prosecutor "request" anything of (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        4kedtongue

                        guilty (I assume you mean convicted) criminal? And I thought judges pass sentence.

                    •  Yes, they "get to do that." (4+ / 0-)

                      But it's entirely legitimate to wonder why they would do that.

                      If their only interest were learning Assange's side of the story before deciding whether to press charges, why would the Swedes opt to fight a doubtless very expensive year-long extradition battle in court rather than coming to an accommodation about conducting and interview on British soil?

                      "Because they can" isn't much of an explanation.

                      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                      by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:44:26 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No, they don't "get to do that" (0+ / 0-)

                        Swedish law requires that an attempt be made to interview a suspect before formal charges are filed.

                        There are many good reasons why they wouldn't agree to his terms.

                        It's only because of this quirk in Swedish law that he hadn't been charged. In almost any other nation, the evidence they have would have allowed a charge, and that's why an extradiction hearing was held - because there's probably cause to arrest him - it's simply a formality that he has to be interrogated first.

                        •  What?? Are you arguing with yourself now? (5+ / 0-)

                          You said:

                          And that's the assertion that JR tried to make above - that Sweden rejected the proposed Skype interrogation, and rejected other offers - the Swedes get to do that.
                          I replied:
                          Yes, they "get to do that." (2+ / 0-)
                          But it's entirely legitimate to wonder why they would do that.
                          and now you say:
                          No, they don't "get to do that"
                          You're completely incoherent at this point.

                          And I'd like some evidence from you backing up this claim:

                          Swedish law requires that an attempt be made to interview a suspect before formal charges are filed.

                          ...

                          It's only because of this quirk in Swedish law that he hadn't been charged.

                          That might be true, I suppose, but I haven't seen anyone but you making that claim.

                          And even if it is true, it would be no impediment since he was, in fact, interviewed regarding the sexual assault allegations on August 30, 2010.  So if that is, in fact, a requirement of Swedish law (which I doubt - I think you're making shit up at this point) then that requirement is satisfied.

                          “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                          by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:52:38 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  the fuck you say (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chipmo, burlydee, 4kedtongue, tommymet
              Cops don't let potential criminals set the boundaries about how an interview/interrogation will happen.
              Cops can't haul somebody down to the precinct, let alone across national boundaries, without sufficient cause.  Until that is met, they can ask for permission.

              The idea that cops can detain and question anyone they feel like scares the fuck out of me.  There's a difference between law-and-order people and police fetishists, the difference being that law-and-order people think police should follow the law too.

              all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

              by happymisanthropy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:23:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  British courts, in granting Sweden's request... (0+ / 0-)

                determined that not only was their probable cause that he violated Swedish law, but had said crimes occurred in Britain as well, that he would have violated British law.

                Which is why he's being extradited.

                Can we get over the fact that he's Julian Assange for a minute and accept that there are some real, serious charges pending against the guy, and that not everyone who does good in certain respects in their life does good in all respects in their life?  Several years back one of the best filesystems in the Linux world was ReiserFS, written by Hans Reiser.  Powerful, scalable, and of course, free - earned him quite a few fans around the world.  Then the guy killed his wife.  Or closer to home at this site, I could point to John Edwards.

                •  which is irrelevant (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4kedtongue, tommymet

                  the comment I replied to says cops should be able to detain and question, under their own terms, anyone they suspect of a crime.

                  Which is almost as disturbing as Sweden allowing prosecutors to issue warrants without any judges being involved.

                  all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

                  by happymisanthropy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:24:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  They have "sufficient cause" here (0+ / 0-)

                That was already determined in the extradiction hearing's findings.

                Cops don't allow potential criminals to set the boundaries for how interrogations will proceed. It's a fact. This has nothing to do with the rest of your diatribe.

            •  Why haven't they charged him? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Don midwest, tommymet

              They already interviewed him in Stockholm.

              Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

              by Indiana Bob on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 01:47:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Has he requested a teleconference? (0+ / 0-)
        •  Inapt comparison. Romney running for Prez. of U.S. (10+ / 0-)

          Assange already declared "guilty" by high-level officials in U.S.

          My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

          by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 07:03:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rei

            Sexual assault is sexual assault in my book.

            Why are you taking two mutually exclusive issues and muddying the water?

            1.  He is wanted for questioning for two seperate alleged sexual assaults on two different women.

            So you would be completely comfortable defending Mitt Romney if he was trying to seek asylum with Equador to evade questioning?

            It's a perfectly reasonable question.

            The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

            by ctexrep on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:20:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why not? Using political parties to avoid issues (0+ / 0-)

              Here in the good old USA, the media and the corporation have done a masterful job of dealing with the back and forth between the political parties.

              You are doing the same thing. What about Mitt Romney?

              Didn't you notice that income inequality was not on the table until OWS? And several have pointed out that this issue is terrible for the USA.

              The political parties didn't talk about it, so the issue didn't exist.

              I have a post below about the questions that the legislative branch should ask about foreign policy. But they are not asking them. The questions came from their own think tanks.

              You are changing the subject from the case at hand.

              You are using the frame of the back and forth between political parties to avoid the hard problems.

              •  Analogies, how do they work? eom (0+ / 0-)

                You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

                by tomjones on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:40:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Where is the concern for the alleged victims? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sviscusi

                That's the hard problem.

                See, in all the political BS - there are two women who are being dismissed becasue the guy is some cult hero whistle blower - and maybe so - be he may also be a sexual offender.

                It's very simple - go for questioning.

                I also fing it hypocritical (maybe not on your part) that progressives want more and better Government yet when it comes to issues as this, all of a sudden Government is bad.  SO I'm supposed to trust Government but I'm not....I get it I think.

                The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

                by ctexrep on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:00:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Assange IS guilty (0+ / 0-)

            He DID release, willy-nilly, classified documents in a way that had the potential to really harm the USA and agents of the USA.

            That's undeniable. Even Assange doesn't really deny it in a plausible way.

            But the potential guilt over the charges in Sweden have nothing to do with that clearly evident guilt with regards to Wikileaks.

            •  Do you support the rule of law? (8+ / 0-)

              You declared him guilty.

              Politicians declared him guilty.

              That sounds like the King that we fought a war against.

              By the way, do you realize that the USA has walked away from habeas corpus in the handling of "terrorists."

              Does it concern you that our country has trashed a several hundred year bulwark of civil liberties?

              You of course know that today, the president can declare anyone, including you, or maybe me for writing this, declare us to be a terrorist. And the term terrorist does not have a clear definition because it means anyone that we want to call a terrorist.

              Let me continue. The president could declare you a terrorist and have you sent to prison and/or killed without judicial oversight.

              Is this true?

              •  Yes, I sure do support the rule of law (0+ / 0-)

                And we aren't talking about guilt in a court of law.

                But it's ridiculous to deny that he's guilty of releasing documents.

                And our country's misdeeds in other areas doesn't mean that Assange isn't guilty of what we know he's guilty of.

                This is about Assange likely committing sexual assault, and people trying to deflect from that personal failing with invalid defenses. The fact that the USA has misbehaved in the past has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not he should be interviewed in Sweden on these charges and it has no bearing whatsoever on the known facts that Assange IS guilty of leaking classified documents which could have endangered the USA and US citizens and agents.

                Assange IS guilty of that. No reasonable person tries to deny that. His organization released tens of thousands of documents, censoring almost nothing. He was the head of that organization, and so he is responsible for that release. He knew where the documents came from. He is guilty.

                All the other stuff you wrote is simply a distraction from the fact that Assange IS guilty of that violation, dumping documents where anyone could see them.

                •  You say "Assange IS guilty of that" (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4kedtongue, jrooth, Jarrayy, chipmo

                  To be guilty is to be convicted in a court. Are you using the word guilty in the legal sense?

                  If you support the rule of law, you should use the correct terms.

                  He has not been convicted in a court.

                  You say you support the rule of law.

                  Yes he does run wiki leaks. And yes they published documents.

                  That is what journalists do.

                  You are conviting a journalist before he has had a trial.

                  And since we are

                  •  No, guilt is NOT only applied in a court of law (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Loge

                    That's a ridiculous assertion.

                    And the fact that he hasn't been convicted in a court of law of having released those documents doesn't change the fact that he's guilty of releasing those documents.

                    I am guilty of speeding on many occasions, yet I've been lucky, and I've never gotten a speeding ticket, nor have I ever been convicted of speeding in a court of law - does that somehow magically erase the facts that I have, on numerous occasions, been guilty of speeding?

                    No, of course it doesn't.

                    Some people who commit crimes die before they've been convicted of those crimes - does that somehow mean that they aren't guilty of those crimes? Of course it doesn't.

                    One need not be convicted in a court of law in order to be guilty of something.

                    I AM using the word "guilty" in a correct way. Not all guilty people have been found guilty in a court of law. That doesn't mean that they aren't guilty - it simply means that they haven't been found guilty in a court of law! This ain't brain surgery.

                •  Of course, since newspapers like the NY Times (6+ / 0-)

                  also has access to, and published, the classified cables, reporters and staffers there are also being hunted down with the same ferocity as Assange, right?
                  No? Really? What's the difference?

                  "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

                  by Hayate Yagami on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:14:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Whether or not others might be guilty (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rei

                    Doesn't change the fact that Assange is guilty.

                    This is a crazy way to argue - others also misbehaved, and so it somehow means that Assange didn't misbehave? Really?

                    •  When they make so much out of going after Assange (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      amsterdam

                      And ignoring the many other groups (e.g. NYT) that did the same thing, it makes it disgustingly apparent that they don't give a damn about whatever "harm" was done, or the actual leaks and are looking for nothing more than to turn him into an example by beating him into submission.

                      "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

                      by Hayate Yagami on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:20:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It has nothing to do with the harm done (0+ / 0-)

                        I can't shoot a gun off inside my city limits.

                        That law has nothing to do with the harm I actually do - it has to do with the potential harm that someone shooting a gun off inside city limits COULD do.

                        It's against the law to drive drunk. When I was younger, I drove drunk several times - yet never caused an accident, nor did I hurt anyone. Yet it's still illegal to drive drunk and there's good reason for that statute to be on the books - because the potential to hurt someone or cause an accident when drunk is much greater, so there's a reasonable need to attempt to prohibit that behavior in anticipation of the potential threat to society.

                        And it's the same thing with this law related to leaking classified documents - it has nothing to do with how much damage WAS done, nor should it. It's prohibited behavior because when one releases tens of thousands of documents willy-nilly without evaluating those docs first, one has no idea if it could endanger the USA or US citizens.

                        •  And if they gave two sh*ts about the "law" (5+ / 0-)

                          and not just turning Assange into some sort of example, they'd either (a) go after other groups, such as they NYT which also published classified material, or (b) recognize that under decisions like New York Times v. U.S (1971), the courts held that the First Amendment allows for groups to publish obtained classified material.

                          All those stories about the CIA drone program that still "doesn't exist"? Classified material. Those leaks that the Republicans are making noise about? All classified material. If Assange and Wikileaks can be punished for publishing classified material (and under "b" above, there's a reasonable argument that they can't be), then why the gross inequity in the application of the law?

                          "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

                          by Hayate Yagami on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:02:31 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Selective prosecution is a a violation of the 14th (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jrooth, Don midwest, amsterdam, tommymet

                      amendment (probably 5th too) just so you know.  

                •  Given the animosity... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Don midwest

                  ... the US has for Assange and the determination to prosecute him I am Leary of any unrelated charges brought against him.  To my knowledge the alleged charges against him have not been specified.  But, if there is a conspiracy to smear him (and I don't know there is) then there is nothing like a rape accusation to paint  him as a low life scum.  It's an accusation that is sure to discredit him.
                  I don't believe this community is ignoring rape – just that, short of specifics, there is reasonable cause to question the charge .

                  "if you don't make peaceful revolution possible, you make violent revolution inevitable." ….JFK. .......{- 8.25 / -5.64}

                  by carver on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:34:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If you don't know about the alleged sexual charges (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rei, Loge

                    Being brought against him, that is your shortcoming.

                    The two women who were sexually assaulted are his supporters in the Wikileaks area. Again, as I've repeatedly explained, his criminal behavior with regards to abusive sexual contact with 2 women has nothing to do with Wikileaks.

                    This is not about doubting the charges. Not at all.

                    This community has repeatedly dismissed the sexual assault charges because they like him as a whistleblower. It has nothing to do with there being reasonable doubt about the charges. If what the women said was true, then he sexually assaulted them.

            •  What is he guilty of, exactly? n/t (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Don midwest, socalmonk, tommymet
          •  When and where? (0+ / 0-)

            And isn't this about SWEDEN questioning Assange, not the United States?

        •  he already did that (0+ / 0-)

          Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

          by Indiana Bob on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 01:45:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  How do you know "fair trial"? (16+ / 0-)

      Listen to democracynow today, and read Greenwald's column linked above.

      If he goes to Sweden, he is immediately thrown into prison.

      Recall, he has not even been charged with a crime. It is alleged.

      And his arrest warrant did not allow any consideration of the charges to be brought out in court.

      Thus we don't even know the facts of the allegation.

      The two references above describe how this is an attempt to get him extradited to the USA.

      Once in the USA, he could face the Bradley Manning treatment in jail.

      Do you approve of that treatment?

      Do you think that Assange would be treated differently than Manning? His attorney on democracynow this morning expects him to be treated like Manning and the attorney to be barred from saying anything to the press.

      The documents in the Pentagon Papers were top secret. Almost all the wikileaks document were not at that level of classification.

      Back to the original question: how do you know that he would be treated fairly by the legal system?

      •  You bet he would (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Quicklund
        Do you think that Assange would be treated differently than Manning?
        Manning is a soldier, he comes under the UCMJ
        Assange is a civilian, he'd get the same treatment the rest of us would. he WILL have a lawyer and battalions of supporters to watch over him. he may even get bail.
        I don't approve of whats happening to Manning but its a different case

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:35:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sweden is not some 3rd world country (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MGross, Quicklund

        I think most here would agree that Sweden is a fairly progressive country in general.

        I have been on this site since 2008 and I can't really remember a time where someone who was accused of sexual assault was  given such a benefit of the doubt?

        Is sexual assault permissable when the alleged person is a whistleblower on the US Government?  To me, the events are mutually exclusive.

        I am not saying that he is or is not guilty - but his actions to eveade questioning would bring reasonable suspision that he may be up to no good.

        There is an EAW issued by Sweden to bring him in for questioning - that's it.

        You assume that Sweden would hand him over to the US - why?  WHy wouldn't the UK do so if the US really wanted him?  They are a much closer ally than Sweden.  If the fear is the CIA will pick him up - why have they not already done so?

        Why should a potential sexual predator be allowed to go free because some are concerned that he may be picked up as a whistle blower.

        I've always been a strong advocate for justice when it comes to sex crimes - and IMHO - he needs to go to Sweden and answer some questions.....period.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:37:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why didn't his extradition papers allow examinatio (11+ / 0-)

          The treaty says that extradition must be handled by a judge.

          In this case it was handled by a prosecutor.

          The high court in Britain had to twist itself into a pretzel to justify not honoring the rules.

          The role of a prosecutor is to convict. That is why the law says that the order must come from a judge. It looks like they couldn't even get a judge in Sweden to sign off.

          *
          These are not just avoidance of questioning, because he will go to jail immediately when he arrives in Sweden. That is the law there. I don't think of it as a third world country, but it is in this instance. And once in prison, what will happen to him?

          *
          How do you justify the requirement that no evidence be presented in British courts about the sexual assault incident? Are you afraid to hear allegations in a court?

          *
          And after an allegation comes a charge. He has not been charged with anything.

          Shouldn't the request for extradition be grounded in a charge? Something that has had legal scrutiny?

          *
          I am not an attorney, but I think I have just stated basics of the rule of law.

          •  He has not been charged... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ctexrep

            because that allegation is all there is, currently.  Before they charge him with actually committing a crime, they would need to get his side of the story.  Isn't that what you would want to happen to you if you ever found yourself in such a situation?  Would you want some prosecutor to file charges without even talking to you first?

            I personally do not believe these charges.  They are simply too politically convenient for comfort.  But the fact that Assange hasn't been charged is a good thing, not a bad one.  It shows that, whatever the genesis of the charges, Sweden's justice system itself is not compromised.

            •  What?!?! HUH?!? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hayate Yagami, happymisanthropy
              Before they charge him with actually committing a crime, they would need to get his side of the story.
              He obviously doesn't want to talk to them, so we must assume he would have nothing to say.  I'm not familiar with the Swedish justice system but in the US you can't compel a suspect to talk.  

              Typically, the police charge you when they believe you committed a crime.  It is very rare for them to wait for your side of the story, especially when your side will be "I'm not talking."

              The fact they are attempting to compel him to come to Sweden w/o having probable cause to charge him with a crime is not a good sign.  

              •  small correction (0+ / 0-)

                typically they charge you when they think they can prove that you've committed a crime.

                all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

                by happymisanthropy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:33:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Correction (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jarrayy
                He obviously doesn't want to talk to them, so we must assume he would have nothing to say.
                He already did talk to them.  On August 31, 2010.
                •  And as well all know... (0+ / 0-)

                  suspects are only ever questioned once in an investigation, and if not immediately arrested after said questioning, are free to ignore the police from thereon out.  

                  Right?

                  •  Yeah, I didn't say any of that. (5+ / 0-)

                    But if the prosecutor investigating you (twice) states publicly that the accusations against you don't rise to the level of an arrestable crime, only to (twice) be overruled by higher ups more than a week later, I think you'd be within your rights to be slightly paranoid that somebody "up above" is out to get you.

                    Particularly if you are a globally known thorn in the side of the most powerful county in the history of the world and had recently REALLY pissed them off.

                    •  Police are *constantly* deciding (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SwedishJewfish

                      that they don't have enough evidence to charge someone at a given point in time and then ultimately ending up charging them.  There isn't the slightest thing in the world unusual about that.  It would be bizarre if we lived in a world where police could tell off the bat, the first time they talk to a suspect, whether they were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

                      •  OK. So they can question Assange again. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Tonedevil

                        In fact, his attorney has attempted to arrange such an interrogation in England. The Swedish prosecutors have rebuffed him.  They demand his presence in Sweden - for questioning.  Again, if I'm Julian Assange, this makes me paranoid.

                        •  Again, doesn't work like that. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SwedishJewfish

                          Charges can only be levied on Swedish soil, so that's a total non-starter.

                          •  All these Swedish lawyers on the site ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil

                            I'm amazed at all the expert knowledge on Swedish law around here.  Maybe you can cite the Swedish statute in question.  After that, you can explain how "charges can only be levied on Swedish soil" (even if true) would prevent questioning on British soil.

                            By the way, here's an actual Swedish judge on that question:

                            On the first day of a two-day extradition hearing at Belmarsh Magistrates Court in South East London, Brita Sundberg-Weitman, a former Swedish Appeal Court Judge, described the behaviour of Miss Ny as "extremely peculiar".

                            Giving evidence on behalf of Mr Assange’s legal team, Mrs Sundberg-Weitman said the Swedish prosecutor could have interviewed Mr Assange by telephone or via the internet video service Skype, without the need to force his return to Sweden.

                            She said: "Miss Ny has a rather biased view against men in the treatment of sexual offence cases. They seem to take it for granted that everyone under prosecution is guilty. I honestly can’t understand her attitude. It looks malicious … I think maybe she wants to make him suffer.”
                            The former judge, who is now an associate professor of Law at Stockholm, University, added that Miss Ny was "involved in sexual politics" which was "very much" a political issue in Sweden.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:23:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I'm not an expert on Swedish law. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SwedishJewfish

                            But they are.  From Fair Trials International, as referenced by the Guardian:

                            As soon as the investigation is over, a decision will be taken about whether to formally charge him. Swedish law requires a person to be physically present before charges can be laid, so this can only happen once Mr Assange is on Swedish territory. Alternatively, prosecutors may decide not to charge Mr Assange and to release him.
                            http://www.fairtrials.net/...
                          •  As included in your own link (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SwedishJewfish
                            Clare Montgomery QC, outlining the case for the Swedish Public Prosecutor, told Judge Howard Riddle the Chief Magistrate for Westminster that the purpose of the extradition request was clear.

                            "There is no room for any doubt as to the purpose of the warrant, namely that it is for the purposes of prosecution," she said.

                            "Mr Assange will be interrogated because that is a necessary next step in the Swedish process. It does not undermine the stated purpose that his presence in Sweden is for the purposes of prosecution."

                            And your judge (actually, NOT a judge, but a former judge) is simply giving HER OPINION, not stating facts.

                            This harping on "questioning" is simply unreasonable reliance upon a quirk in Swedish law that demands that a suspect be given the opportunity to participate in an interview before he is charged. He wasn't wanted for questioining. He was going to be charged unless he could somehow convince his interrogators that their reliance upon the credibility of the accusers was totally misplaced.

                          •  That is simply untrue. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, Don midwest

                            I don't have to be present in a country in order to be charged with a crime that I may have previously committed there.

                            In fact, I believe a Pirate Bay founder was sentenced in absentia in Sweden last year.

                          •  I've linked to a reference many times already. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SwedishJewfish

                            From Fair Trials International, as referenced by the Guardian:

                            As soon as the investigation is over, a decision will be taken about whether to formally charge him. Swedish law requires a person to be physically present before charges can be laid, so this can only happen once Mr Assange is on Swedish territory. Alternatively, prosecutors may decide not to charge Mr Assange and to release him.
                      •  You're right (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Tonedevil

                        what is unusual is basing that charging decision on a 2nd interview. If they have new evidence, why would they need to wait to bring it forth?  Why couldn't they just charge him with a crime before extradition?

                        •  Because that's not legal under Swedish law. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SwedishJewfish

                          He has to be present.

                          Assange's supporters have been completely muddying the issue to try to make it into some big conspiracy theory.  There are some really serious charges against this guy (have you taken the time to read the detailed accusations of what transpired those nights, from the police files?).

                          I say this as someone who used to support the guy.  And when I say that, I don't mean "back before the charges were levied" - I mean after they were levied.  But before I was raped.  It took me three months to get to the point where I could fully admit to myself that what had happened to me was rape and stop couching it in terms like "rape or something like that" or "an unwanted sexual experience".  I met a girl here at Daily Kos who actually started dating the guy who raped her, so that it'd seem less like rape.  And so the ignoring and smearing of the victims for not instantly coming forward with some open-and-shut case really bothers me at a personal level.  There's always a great deal of ambiguity, personal blame, and wanting just to forget about it and dismiss it as a "bad night".

                    •  Yeah, you basically DID say that (0+ / 0-)

                      He was wanted for questioning and he fled the country to avoid that questioning. He stated that he'd left the country only temporarily - he was lying - because he never voluntarily went back. He knew, when he left, that they wanted to talk to him again and he chose to leave rather than talk to him again.

                      And if you aren't aware that sexual assault charges are often unfairly minimized until an outcry happens, well then you need to educate yourself that they are.

                      They have "probable cause" to arrest him. In Sweden, before formal charges can be filed, they must make an effort to interview the suspect. The idea that they don't have sufficient reason to want to arrest him was debunked thoroughly in the extradition hearing.

                      JR ignores that, and so do you and others.

                      •  Please bring forth evidence or citations (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        amsterdam, Tonedevil

                        suggesting that they have sufficient evidence to arrest him from the extradition hearing. And as pointed out they have already interviewed Assange.  

                        •  The extradition was granted specifically (0+ / 0-)

                          because the British court ruled that they did have sufficient charge to arrest him.

                        •  I swear (0+ / 0-)

                          From an earlier post in this string....

                          He obviously doesn't want to talk to them
                          The fact that he talked to them once is irrelevant. He didn't want to talk to them once the investigation was renewed. He abruptly left the country, and when called upon that, he told Swedish officials that he'd be returning shortly, but he never did.

                          And the way that Swedish law works is that one can't charge someone until they are given a chance to tell their side of the story. And the way that extraditions work is that one doesn't get extradited unless the country requesting one proves that there's sufficient evidence.

                          This ain't rocket science.

                          The fact that he was interviewed once doesn't mean that he has no obligation to be interviewed again.

                          You might want to educate yourself with THIS news report- a report I've linked to in MULTIPLE JR diaries on this topic, btw.

                          One of the telling things in that report?

                          The Guardian understands that the recent Swedish decision to apply for an international arrest warrant followed a decision by Assange to leave Sweden in late September and not return for a scheduled meeting when he was due to be interviewed by the prosecutor. Assange's supporters have denied this, but Assange himself told friends in London that he was supposed to return to Stockholm for a police interview during the week beginning 11 October, and that he had decided to stay away. Prosecution documents seen by the Guardian record that he was due to be interviewed on 14 October.
                          He's a liar. More proof?
                          By Saturday morning, 21 August, journalists were asking Assange for a reaction. At 9.15am, he tweeted: "We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks'. Now we have the first one." The following day, he tweeted: "Reminder: US intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks as far back as 2008."

                          The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet asked if he had had sex with his two accusers. He said: "Their identities have been made anonymous so even I have no idea who they are. We have been warned that the Pentagon, for example, is thinking of deploying dirty tricks to ruin us."

                          OF COURSE he knew who they were - they'd been bugging him to get an STD test! His denial that he didn't know who it was that was accusing him, and his assertion that these women who had sex with him weren't also Wikileaks groupies, and were instead plants by the Pentagon or US Intelligence? Simply his efforts to sow CT in the minds of his supporters. He had nonconsensual sex by failing to use condoms when it had been made quite clear to him that only safe sex was okay with both women.

                          And evidence from the extradition hearing? I swear, why do we always have to do the work for people like you? We'e kept up with the case.

                          But here it is.

                          Senior District Judge Howard Riddle found against him on each of the principal arguments against his extradition.

                          One of those was that the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued against Mr Assange had been issued for the purpose of questioning and not prosecution.

                          Central to that was the evidence of Mr Assange's Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig.

                          Judge Riddle found Mr Hurtig to be an "unreliable" witness as to the efforts he made to contact his client between 21, 22 September and 29 September.

                          He found "attempts were made by the prosecuting authorities to arrange interrogation in the period 21-30 September, but those attempts failed".

                          Accordingly he found "as a matter of fact, and looking at all the circumstances in the round, this person (Mr Assange) passes the threshold of being an accused person and is wanted for prosecution".

                          Another question raised by Mr Assange was whether the offences specified in the warrant were extraditable offences.

                          Key to this argument was the issue of consent, or the lack of it, in the allegations made against Mr Assange by the two women in Sweden.

                          Judge Riddle said: "I am satisfied that the specified offences are extradition offences."

                    •  And actually, it was only once, not twice (0+ / 0-)

                      That was a poor reporter's error and misunderstanding. Happened once.

                      He was interviewed the very end of August, one person decided not charge him with the more serious crime (and was still going to pursue the lesser crime) and that person was overruled on Sept 1st, and it was determined that they would go forward with the investigation into the more serious crime too.

                      He then avoided being interviewed for a couple of weeks, repeatedly putting off the prosecutor's office, and then he left the country, while asserting that he was simply leaving for a previously-scheduled event from which he would return - after all, he'd applied to be a resident alien in Sweden, and that application was still pending.

                      But he was lying. He apparently had no intention of returning.

                      That's evidence of guilt.

                      He said that he didn't know who the two women were who were accusing him - but the evidence we have tells us that he did, in fact, know the two women who was making the allegations, as he was aware that they wanted him to take STD tests.

                      You can't trust a word he says - and so to trust his version of events isn't a good idea.

              •  I'm sorry, are you a Swedish lawyer? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SwedishJewfish

                Are you familiar with the rules and regulations of what must be done in Sweden concerning questioning before formal charges can be filed?

                •  I'm familar with common sense which tells me (0+ / 0-)

                  he won't tell them anymore than he already has.  You don't need to know swedish law to know that.  There may not be a provision against self incrimination in Swedish law, but I find it hard to believe that Assange is going to say something that incriminates himself - which is what would need to happen if they were awaiting to arrest him to here his version.  

                  •  But you do need to be familiar with (0+ / 0-)

                    Swedish law enough to know that you can't be charged with a crime when not on Swedish soil (I've provided a link to this several times in this thread, no need to dig it up again).

                  •  It matters not if he tells them more (0+ / 0-)

                    The ONLY way he could escape arrest at this point is IF he WERE to participate in an interrogation and make the cops believe that he is credible and also make them believe that the two women who testified are NOT credible. And since they've already determined that those women are credible, it's unlikely that he could do that - but under Swedish law, he has to be given that opportunity before formal charges will be filed.

                    He abruptly left the country after hiding from his Swedish lawyer, and he made a commitment (he apparently never intended to keep) to come back to Sweden - claiming that he'd only temporarily left the country. He never returned. He repeatedly stated that he'd come back, but he never would. He had a pending request to become a resident alien in Sweden at the time - yet he never returned. He tried to USE that pending request to assert to Swedish authorities that they could trust that he was going to return to Sweden.

                    This has all been argued and documented multiple times on this site. Multiple times.

                    Way back in December of 2010 I wrote

                    And if he says nothing, he'll be charged! (0+ / 0-)
                    The reason he has not been charged yet is that, while they believe the women, they want to see if there's anything Assange can say that will discredit the women.

                    If he says nothing, then the women aren't discredited, and he'll be charged.

                    Most likely, there's nothing he can say that will discredit the women's story, and so he'll be charged, but if he can discredit both women, he won't be charged!

                    That's why they haven't charged him yet - because they're doing this the right way!!!!

                    The idea that the fact that he hasn't been charged yet means that they're doing it the wrong way is ridiculous!

                    by DollyMadison on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:24:56 AM CST

            •  NO. Criminal suspects are told to shut up and not (5+ / 0-)

              go talking to the prosecutors.

              "Silence is golden" is the motto of criminal defense attorneys.

              Prosecutors have a lot of discretion.  They don't need to get both sides of the story before they charge. . . if their evidence is strong enough.

              My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

              by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:51:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  In Sweden, attempting to interview a suspect (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SwedishJewfish

                IS REQUIRED.

                This belief that they don't have sufficient evidence to indict him is a misunderstanding (willful, I believe, on your part, as this has been explained to you in the past) of a quirk in Swedish law.

                They have sufficient evidence to charge him. Their evidence is strong enough.

          •  you're applying US law (0+ / 0-)

            to a Swedish case. Their rules of investigation are different. One of which is, they don't file charges without an interview. The extradition is to facilitiate that interview.

            Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

            by nickrud on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:55:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Sweden has draconian secret pre-trial procedures. (18+ / 0-)

          Additionally, in 2001 it handed over two asylum-seekers to the CIA, which then rendered them to be tortured in Egypt.

          That's why I think Assange's fear about Sweden are valid.

          My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

          by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:59:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is no more extraordinary rendition (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi, Loge

            i.e. sending them to a country for torture. So, quit throwing around that red herring.

            You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

            by tomjones on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:45:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  not a red herring - evidence that Sweden bows US (0+ / 0-)

              evidence that Sweden, a small county, can be pushed around by the US

              that they sent people for rendition is enough to show that they would send someone to US for trial

              there is a secret grand jury working on Assange. If he ended up in US custody he probably would be charged.

              We know from Bradley Manning's experience, among many others, how he would be treated in US jails and by the US courts.

              •  If he's charged (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rei

                he should answer to the charges. That is the way it works, and if he's not guilty then he will be acquitted.

                And "extraordinary rendition" is the practice of sending a suspect to another country to be tortured. That practice has ended and therefore is a red herring.

                What you're talking about is not rendition but extradition.

                You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

                by tomjones on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:57:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  link? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  socalmonk
                  That practice has ended and therefore is a red herring.
                  to where we've categorically stopped all extraordinary rendition?  Extraordinary rendition has been shut down in the sense that the School of the Americas has been shut down, because it's now called the Interhemispheric Something Or Other.

                  all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

                  by happymisanthropy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:36:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  If he's charged by the US, he should answer? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Don midwest

                  Why?  What duty does he owe the U.S. to subject himself to their courts to be tried on bogus charges?  What jurisdictional authority do they even have over him to command his presence?  He is neither a citizen nor resident of the U.S.

                  Should any American charged of any crime by any other nation willingly submit themselves to "face the charges" as you advise Assange to do?

                  •  Extradition treaties (0+ / 0-)

                    Read about them.

                    You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

                    by tomjones on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:51:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're confused (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Don midwest

                      Are you claiming that Assange has signed an extradition treaty in which he agrees to turn himself over to US authorities?  If not, then your answer makes no sense.

                      Again, should any American charged of any crime by any other nation willingly submit themselves to "face the charges" as you advise Assange to do?  Because of "extradition treaties"?

            •  There was no "extraordinary rendition" allowed (9+ / 0-)

              back then, either.

              Of all the stuff our country is doing in secret--Kill List, indefinite preventive detention, drone strikes of innocents--you have no way of knowing whether or not we are still doing it . . . just because we say we're not doing it.

              Obama said he would have the most transparent administration ever, that he would close Gitmo, that he would not classify information to avoid embarrassment. But he's done the exact opposite.

              My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

              by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:55:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                Thank you for admitting you're just making assertions without any evidence.

                You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

                by tomjones on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:58:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  no evidence? Please explain your argument (0+ / 0-)

                  yes there is no evidence that we are still doing renditions

                  that was not the point of the argument

                  the point is that Obama said all kinds of things and is now doing the opposite.

                  Sweden has a history of bowing to USA so can expect them to go along this time.

                  *
                  could you explain your statement? Just what assertion is she making and why does it not have evidence? Hint: there are two parts to this, the assertion and the evidence.

          •  Is there a parallel case involving SWEDISH law (0+ / 0-)

            And non-terrorism suspects?  Because a case involving another country's law, ten years ago, on a non-terrorism related charge, doesn't mean diddly squat to Julian Assange.

    •  Cardinal Mindszenty stayed in the U.S. embassy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, semiot, socalmonk

      in Budapest for 15 years, where he had been granted asylum.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:09:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The charges are *misdemeanors* in Sweden (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susakinovember, lucid

      There is no trial by jury and going to jail and all that jazz.

      It's like a $345 fine.

      That is the ultimate penalty for these supposed transgressions of Assange.

      And yet here we had an INTERPOL arrest warrant and all this drama over a $345 fine.

      And some people here actually believe the lies that this is only about justice and NOT about the final extradiction to a military brig in the US for Assange. Including maybe a side tour to one of the notorious torture islands. Hell, Greece is so crushingly bankrupt they would probably sell out a couple of their torture islands to the US military.


      In my honor he pulled out old forgotten dignity and walked straight in a crooked world. ~~poetry of young Barack Obama

      by bronte17 on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:50:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If reality doesn't say what you want it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Loge

        to, make something up, I see?

        There is no trial by jury and going to jail and all that jazz.

        It's like a $345 fine.

        Oh really?
        Mr Assange, 39, who denies any wrongdoing, is fighting the attempt to extradite him to Sweden, where lawyers have confirmed for the first time they intend to prosecute, him for "minor rape", which carries a maximum sentence of four years.
        And of course, the goal always is to lose sight of the alleged victims here when it comes to Assange.  Can't ever possibly see them as human beings in all this; best to only bring them up to smear them.

        Sometimes I hardly recognize this site.

        •  Don't pull the shame card out and bitchslap me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest, lucid

          There are always two sides to every story. Men are not always immediately led to the gallows because a woman makes an accusation of rape.

          Nor does that mean that I support rapists. You don't get to make that broad sweep. Anymore than you get to write off the miscarriage of justice in this particular case.

          I stand by the misdemeanor statement. That is exactly the penalty for the accused charges as were originally leveled against Assange.

          And the "victims" who were willing consensual partners of Assange did not want to bring charges against him. They simply requested a STD test.


          In my honor he pulled out old forgotten dignity and walked straight in a crooked world. ~~poetry of young Barack Obama

          by bronte17 on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:12:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They were willing and then they weren't (0+ / 0-)

            Unprotected sex is not consensual when the other has set the term to use it.

            And sex with a sleeping person is never consensual, unless it was requested or agreed in advance, which does not seem to be the case here.

            Regarding the issue of requesting an STD test, given the fact that Assange took it upon himself to force unprotected sex, then refused to take a test even when the lady in question went to the police to compel him to do so, I'd like to hear your defense of that behavior and like to know if you are shocked and surprised that this led to where the case stands today.

            To repeat what I stated elsewhere, when it comes to a legally defined crime, it's the prosecutor's decision to press charges on behalf of the state even if the victim does not request so or agree, which is often the case in rape cases where the victim might not want to press on for personal reasons, for example, the ironically named (here) Stockholm Syndrome.

            I would also like to add that merely because charges are dropped at one point does not preclude them from being pressed later; often depends on the evidence available at the time or the judgement of prosecutor handling the case. For example, the current Trevon Martin case where the initial prosecutor did not think there was a case but the present does - so Zimmerman gets his day in court, as it should be.

            Lastly, the place to decide Assange's guild or innocence, if it comes to that, would also be a court, not a blog.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:50:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sweden doesn't have trial by jury (0+ / 0-)

      It has a panel of one professional judge and two politicians who vote on whether you're guilty.

    •  So you're saying that if he rides in an embassy (0+ / 0-)

      car and drives up to an embassy plane, they can "get 'em?"

      Equador can only protect him while he is at their embassy - once he leaves (say to go to the airport) he's fair game.
  •  Does anyone remember the coup attempt (17+ / 0-)

    in Ecuador a few years ago. This happened not long after the successful US supported coup in Honduras.

    In June of last year (2009), when the Honduran military overthrew the social-democratic government of Manuel Zelaya, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador took it personally. "We have intelligence reports that say that after Zelaya, I'm next," said Correa.

    The Guardian from 1 October 2010.

    and he was next but the coup attempt failed in Ecuador.

    There was also the issue of the US military base in Manta, Ecuador which the government refused to renew the contract for.

    Not renewing the contract with the US over Manta, one of the largest military bases in Latin America, had come up in an earlier interview taken by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! when the Ecuadorian president had visited New York in early 2008 to attend a UN conference. Correa had said, ‘I would renew it with one condition: that they allow me to set up an Ecuadorian military base here in New York.
    My guess would be that these past events have something to do with why Assange chose Ecuador.

    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

    by truong son traveler on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:10:21 AM PDT

  •  Further intimidation by the most secret administra (10+ / 0-)

    Obama administration has set records of the amount of classified documents.

    Have Americans forgotten that government openness was part of our heritage?

    Have Americans forgotten that one of the few roles in the constitution was the press and their critical role of exposing what the government is doing?

    This week we learned about secret trade negotiations that would give away American sovereignty to foreign companies operating in the USA. I have heard estimates that foreigners already own 20% of USA and that is growing as we take on more debt.

    Intimidation in many forms is needed to keep the lid on what is going on.

    And, we can assume that the worst abuses are unknown.

  •  Assange is being framed ... (4+ / 0-)

    to close him down.  BTW, did you know that Ecuador was the first country to declare war on Japan on 7 Dec 1941?

    The last sound on earth will be the squawk of an optimist.

    by CT yanqui on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:23:57 AM PDT

    •  CT yanqui - what role did they play? (0+ / 0-)

      After declaring war on Japan what role did Ecuador actually play in taking the war to the Japanese, or their ally Germany?

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:49:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not much but something (6+ / 0-)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Ecuador was one of several South American nations to join the Allies late in the war (joined against Germany on 2 February 1945), allowing the United States use of Baltra Island as a naval base.
        WW II split South America in two; those who sided with the Axis (Argentina, Paraguay, Chile initially) and those who sided with the Allies (Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay and others).  Had the Nazis succeeded in Stalingrad, South American countries would have faced consequences.  In 1941 it was not clear what the outcome would be.

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 07:54:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The US is also a signatory to (12+ / 0-)

    The Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

    But that has never gotten in our way.

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:30:54 AM PDT

  •  I support... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, Loge

    Tom Drake and other whistleblowers wrongly prosecuted by this Administration.  I'm more on the fence regarding Mr. Assange.  I've watched him closely over the years, and in my opinion he is nothing more than a seeker of infamy.  He wanted to be famous, and he wanted governments to fear him: he got those wishes.  But when governments fear something, they don't just ignore it...they act to protect themselves.

    While some of the dire predictions concerning WikiLeaks releases have not come to pass (yet), others have.  Secretary Clinton has had to work very hard to patch relationships with several nations over the release of diplomatic cables that reflected poor or controversial opinions about host nations and/or their leaders.  And worse, the release of the information that confirmed the Pakistani Army's private cooperation and public condemnation of drone strikes in the tribal areas is still today one of the recruiting tools used by the Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar e Taiba, and other groups opposed to any Pakistani alliance with the US.

    These things, while they may remain unseen to those not involved in the region or in international affairs, directly effect the United States by adding more enemy combatants to the battlefield, and reducing the willingness of our allies to cooperate with us, due to a lack of trust engendered by the releases.

    I am not opposed to the idea of WikiLeaks.  I am, however, opposed to release of truly sensitive information short of a valid motive, such as exposing government waste, fraud, or crimes as whistleblowers do.  Having watched Mr. Assange for some time now, I believe the man would release (or threaten to release) anything he got his hands on, just to gain more infamy and notoriety.  I'm all for government transparency, but I also recognize that there are legitimate government secrets that deserve the protection of law.  Exposing those secrets exposes the nation to unacceptable security risks, among other things, and should be dealt with firmly.

    •  Look at one of the secrets (16+ / 0-)

      US bombed in Yemen.

      Killed several people.

      The US had the Yemen government say that they did the bombing.

      Reporter in Yemen who went to the scene and reported on the cluster bombs with photos of the USA labels. Bombs that had to be dropped from a USA plane. Interviewed the civilian survivors.

      That reporter is now in jail. US had the Yemen government put him in jail.

      A wikileaks cable documented the US request that Yemen government lie about who did the bombing.

      *
      Are you saying that this is a secret?

      Here in what used to be the USA, declaring wars was done by the legislative branch. We are starting another war by the CIA, military and executive branch. Should that be a secret?

      *
      And on top of this, we have increased the drone attacks in Yemen.

      And it was a "secret" to talk about our drone program.

      Many have reported that our drones and other involvement in Yemen have led to more anti Americans and lead to further problems.

      Do you think that drone efforts should be secret? Except when the warrior president gives an interview to the NY Times and talks about the kill list.

      By the way, how does a kill list fit with the rule of law?

      *
      This has gone on longer than the original incident. So, how about answering the first question:

      did the bombing in Yemen constitute a state secret?

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cpresley, susakinovember

        If you go through my comment history, you'll see exactly how I feel about drone strikes and the horrible policies put in place by the man I worked hard to elect President.  As both a Muslim and an American, I condemn any drone strikes anywhere in the world.  So to answer your question, no.  I do not believe the "drone wars" qualify as state secrets that should be protected.  Use of military force should have oversight, and that oversight is impossible if the action is secret.

        I feel the same way about the video released by WikiLeaks on the murder of the cameraman in Iraq.  I forget what they called the video.  That constituted a crime, and criminal acts by the government should be exposed by whistleblowers.  That is why I support people like Tom Drake, and the work of the diarist.

    •  What adds more enemy combatants to the battlefield (9+ / 0-)

      are things like drone killings of innocent people and invading and occupying a country without provocation--not diplomatic embarrassment engendered by the releases.

      I agree that Assange is a mercurial guy, but the WikiLeaks mission is important, especially given the vast expansion of government secrecy.

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 07:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)
        the WikiLeaks mission is important, especially given the vast expansion of government secrecy.
        And I agree, of course, that the drone strikes create far more enemy combatants than Assange has.  But that doesn't change the fact that he has created such people by his actions.  Had he stuck with revealing things that shine a light on fraud, waste, and criminal activity I would not feel as ambivalent about him.  The release of the diplomatic cables served no such purpose, and directly harmed the United States in the ways I described.  Releasing private conversations among government officials concerning, for example, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and our assessment of him makes relations sour now, and possibly causes them to nosedive when that Crown Prince becomes King.  (Yes, I know he just died.  Just an example).
    •  interestingly, aside from the fact (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      downsouth

      that he's more directly arguing that he should get asylum versus a rape charge than a hypothetical U.S. Espionage Act prosecution -- if we did extradite him (and given his profile, it'd be impossible to disappear him), why would that be automatically terrible?  He'd have his arguments against a case here, just as I'm sure he would against his possibly pending rape case.  The diary makes clear that this story is really an excuse to dredge up the Drake case issues, though the Times had a story today that undercuts the notion that there's any kind of direct white house "war" on whistleblowers, but rather a few prosecutions based on investigations initiated under Bush, some better reporting procedures, and an overall increase in the amount of classified info, all coalescing about the same time, and still with fewer than 10 people total.  I'd rather look at each case on its merits, and while Assange has identified some misconduct, he's identified a lot more that wasn't misconduct but nonetheless sensitive.  The Iraq video is in a different category than the diplo cables, but even then, Manning should have followed proper procedures and facing charges is often the legitimate price of civil disobedience.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:15:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you forgetting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        that the executive branch of our government claims the power to detain persons indefinitely without charge?

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:41:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it also provides uniform systems of (0+ / 0-)

          weights and measures.  Where are you going with this?   I actually did address that point, and in any event, the allegations against Assange are not of the type for which the legislative and judicial branches of our government have authorized and upheld such power.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 12:04:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think all rapists should ask for asylum in (8+ / 2-)

    Equador if Assange gets it.

    •  He's not a rapist (8+ / 0-)

      Did you follow the Swedish trumped up charges against him when all this started?  Even if he is charged under Swedish law he is not the kind of rapist your taking about. If he was the Swedes would have charged him. what he's guilty of that you are purposely ignoring is being a leaker and establishing wikileaks which exposes both our governments mendacity and lawlessness and also shines a light on the entities that own the place.  

      You don't like Assange or what he and wikileaks have done and exposed but rationalizing this flagrant disregard for both human and civil rights not to mention our former rule of law, by declaring him a rapist and refusing to see what is being done is low. How does this make what our government and this administration are doing appear legitimate? Do you not care about the truth?

      Perhaps you do not want to look at what the US is doing. Me I don't want my country to be a place where state secrets and the bogus security state trumps basic human/civil law. Old laws that took centuries to establish. All wiped out so that we're 'safe'. Who's going to keep us safe from our own police state now that basic rights like due process and habeas corpus are gone?          

      •  So you already tried him and found not guilty? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SwedishJewfish, Rei

        Nice.

        •  I find your concern (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jarrayy, cpresley

          and using the deflection of rapist of a crime that he hasn't even been charged with to be offensive. If that is your real issues here then why should the US have any jurisdiction over him? Why has our government  declared him a spy or whatever they are in a snit about? I do not believe for one minute that you care at all about the victims of his alleged crimes what you are doing is very transparent and not too logical.

          What right does the US have to extradite him, detain him or prosecute him? I'm not enabling a rapist that's absurd I'm defending journalists and whistle blowers and the voices globally that are standing up and telling the truth. Neither you or I have any right to try him and neither does the US government.

          This is some pathetic hypocritical deflection and it's  insulting to me as a woman. Instead of arguing these irrelevant flimsy legalities that are being used to extradite him, argue this and defend it on what is really going down.  You have no regard for the rule of law your hiding behind this bogus flimsy political maneuver to get him.

          If you cared about the law at all you would not be defending this administrations abuses of both our law and international law. Don't talk to me about about trying him when you and tomjones here have refused to even argue the diarists points. that's because there is no way to legitimize what this administration is doing to anyone anywhere they decide is a belligerent, spy,  or giving aid to terrorist's. Gimmie a break with you bogus concern for the law.            

          •  It has nothing to do with US. US has not accused (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SwedishJewfish

            him of anything yet. He is trying to avoid charges in Sweden. Apparently, they are serious enough for him to bother.

            •  Do you really believe this? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Don midwest

              do you not read even the corporate media or listen to what our duly elected representatives both R's and D's and the president have said about wikileaks and Assange? Wikileaks is in their sites they want the leaks stopped. Bradly Manning is a small fish compared to taking down Assange. If this is not political why do pounce on any one who advocates for the truth about what this country is doing? Is Elsworth a criminal is Thomas Drake a criminal. your concern is misplaced as state secrets and going after journalist's whistle blowers or people anywhere who dare to expose the truth is not what democracy looks like.    

        •  why not (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          socalmonk, shaharazade

          when everyone else has already tried him and found him guilty?

          all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

          by happymisanthropy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:40:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  YEA! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rei, ChurchofBruce

        Statutory rapists are also not the kind of rapist he's talking about, so they should get off the hook too, as long as we approve of their whistle blowing activities.

        Also, these women are totally lying. It's just a coincidence that all men accused of sexual crimes attack the victims.

        Nevermind. Look over there. Extraordinary rendition! Torture! YEMEN!

        You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

        by tomjones on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:50:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oooh, another Swedish lawyer on the site! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nickrud, Ellid, SwedishJewfish
        Even if he is charged under Swedish law he is not the kind of rapist your taking about. If he was the Swedes would have charged him.
        Oh really?
        Swedish law requires a person to be physically present before charges can be laid, so this can only happen once Mr Assange is on Swedish territory.
        "He's not a rapist"

        Thanks for calling a bunch of alleged rape victims liars.  Might as well call them sluts, too, while you're at it.  And tell them that they asked for it.

        •  Where in your link (0+ / 0-)

          does it say he is a rapist? The whole blog you linked at the Guardian is about the extradition and the legality involved. Sluts? Lairs? What a twisty reply.  Did I say this or even imply that 'his victims' where sluts or lairs, no.

          Is this dairy about Assange's guilt or innocence of a rape you claim occurred but that he has not even been charged with? Not a lawyer but I do think that proclaiming him a rapist or a spy, traitor, enemy of the state or terrorist supporter makes you pretty hypocritical about any countries rule of law.

          Your deflection still does not address the issue at hand. Believe what you want but do not accuse me of supporting rape. I think you might have your own ax to grind with Assange but that does not make the fact that the US government is out to get him any less true. He has been accused of crimes including rape and I sincerely doubt he will be allowed due process or any kind of real trail as this administration has no intention of respecting the rule of law.        

    •  Assange has never been charged with rape-- (9+ / 0-)

      or any crime.

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:01:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you have already convicted him of rape ... (6+ / 0-)

      when the Swedes haven't even charged him with anything at all yet?

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:09:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  over the top, but (0+ / 0-)

      there's some hr abuse going on, and a discussion of the asylum application requires a more open discussion of the rape issues than the diarist gives.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:16:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If he did that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest

      why do you think that Sweden hasn't charged him with that crime?

      Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

      by Indiana Bob on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 01:08:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congress not ask hard questions on Afghanistan (7+ / 0-)

    Many of the issues of wikileaks involve foreign policy.

    The core issue of this diary involves extradition of Assange to the USA.

    If that happened, he would be put into our "justice" system.

    This comment is related to comments on another blog this morning about corruption of institutions which included a link about professors being paid by banksters.

    The article by Dan Froomkin involves a list of questions that legislators could ask about Afghanistan. These were prepared by Congress's own think tank.

    Read through these questions.

    Compare them to the trivial political discussion and big events like Obama flying into Afghanistan for a photo op.

    The legislative branch is corrupt. They have not done the oversight job to find out about our wars, nor been vigilant about whether or not we have already begun new wars.

    Title of Froomkin's article:

    Questions About Afghanistan, If Congress Cared Enough to Ask Them

    Were they the least bit interested in exercising any oversight at all into the war that American soldiers are still fighting and dying in -- and that Chinese bond buyers are still providing the cash for -- members of Congress wouldn't have to go very far to find some excellent questions.
    Congress's own think tank has come up with some doozies. Actually a lot of doozies. Thirty-nine by my count.
    Just a few weeks ago, Army Col. Danny Davis, the active-service whistleblower who broke ranks to debunk official reports of progress in Afghanistan, wondered on NiemanWatchdog.org Why does Congress refuse to even ask the right questions about Afghanistan
    Note that it took a whistle blower to find out the questions that congress should ask to do their job.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

  •  No, he should be deported to Sweden. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcj98, Rei

    Listen, if the CIA wanted to stuff Mr Assange in a trunk, they could do so in the UK.  Bradley Manning was the one who was responsible for the huge US Intel leak (I guess I should add "allegedly"), Assange is just a profiteer and celebrity.

    Here he is cowering from a mere questioning while the man who did the dirty work faces life in prison...  meanwhile, all Wikileaks does these days is gather money, presumably to help defend Assange, of all people.

  •  Many Ecuadorans support granting asylum (4+ / 0-)

    in the comments section under this article in the Ecuadoran paper El Comercio: Julian Assange pide asilo político en embajada de Ecuador en Londres.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:23:04 AM PDT

  •  He's going to live in that embassy a long time! (0+ / 0-)

    There are precedents for that, at least two I can think of (Victor Raul Haya de la Torre, 5 years, and Cardinal Mindszenty, a whopping 15 years)  I doubt the UK is going to give him safe passage based on claims they consider entirely frivolous.

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 08:53:08 AM PDT

    •  Your 2 examples and two more: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, Rich in PA

      U.S. granted Catholic Cardinal Josef Mindszenty refuge in their Budapest embassy.

      7 Pentecostalists who burst into the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1978 seeking asylum stayed in its basement until 1983.

      6 Cubans crashed a bus through the Peruvian embassy gates in Havana in 1980. Peru refused to hand them over, whereupon Castro removed security guards from the Embassy perimeter, allowing more than 10,000 Cubans to flood the Embassy grounds.

      Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng escaped house arrest in his native village and sought sanctuary in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:47:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are embassy vehicles not afforded privileged (0+ / 0-)

      protection?

      Can the UK legally stop those vehicles from transporting him to an airport?

  •  looks like "trolls day out" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, susakinovember

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:07:42 AM PDT

  •  OK folks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rei, sviscusi

    I have an honest question for you.

    Which country has a better human rights record, Sweden or Ecuador?

    Which country has a better system courts and law?

    Which country is more likely to stand up to the diplomatic and financial pressure of the US?

    Ecuador is actually better than most other Latim American countries on these things...but Sweden is among the most just countries in the world.

    Why would someone flee justice in Sweden for justice in Ecuador...if Justice is what they wanted?

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:12:19 AM PDT

    •  To my knowledge, Ecadaor had never (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, Indiana Bob

      performed extraordinary renditions for the U.S.

      Sweden has.

    •  Sweden has a terrible record of turning (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, Indiana Bob

      over asylum applicants to the CIA. Sweden rendered two of them to Egypt to be tortured (the U.N. Human Rights Committee later found Sweden in violation of the global ban on torture for this extraordinary rendition).

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:11:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Glenn Greenwald on Sweden's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, Indiana Bob

      judicial system:

      Perhaps most disturbingly of all, Swedish law permits extreme levels of secrecy in judicial proceedings and oppressive pre-trial conditions, enabling any Swedish-US transactions concerning Assange to be conducted beyond public scrutiny. Ironically, even the US State Department condemned Sweden's "restrictive conditions for prisoners held in pretrial custody", including severe restrictions on their communications with the outside world.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:13:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Roman Law vs Common Law (0+ / 0-)

    Much of this discussion is failing to note the procedures for the criminal law in Sweden are based on Roman Law; and they therefore aim at investigation by defense and prosecution, rather than a contestation.  (Sweden has a miniscule incarceration rate in comparison to the US, and a lower one than most other other common law countries, and Roman Law doesn't have a worse reputation for mistaken convictions.)

    Assange is in danger of extradition to US in either UK or Sweden.  Apparently one of his accusers worked for a distinctive period on anti-Castro ngo funded from USAID....or at least that was rumored in blogs around the time his extradition procedures were announced.

  •  Greenwald in Guardian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indiana Bob

    Julian Assange's right to asylum
    Given the travesty that is American justice, WikiLeaks' founder is entitled to seek asylum and well-advised to fear extradition

    just published

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    •  More from Greenwald's piece (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, Don midwest, Indiana Bob
      Assange's fear of ending up in the clutches of the US is plainly rational and well-grounded. One need only look at the treatment over the last decade of foreign nationals accused of harming American national security to know that's true; such individuals are still routinely imprisoned for lengthy periods without any charges or due process. Or consider the treatment of Bradley Manning, accused of leaking to WikiLeaks: a formal UN investigation found that his pre-trial conditions of severe solitary confinement were "cruel, inhuman and degrading", and he now faces capital charges of aiding al-Qaida. The Obama administration's unprecedented obsession with persecuting whistleblowers and preventing transparency – what even generally supportive, liberal magazines call "Obama's war on whistleblowers" – makes those concerns all the more valid.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:21:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Glenn Greenwald perspective on these comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrooth, lysias, Indiana Bob

    Glenn is not commenting on this diary.

    He described his own position and how it has been misunderstood.

    Here it is as an update to the original link provided by Jesselyn. The bold is in the original

    *

    This is one of those cases where, unless you include caveats in every other sentence about what you are not arguing, then people feel free to attribute to you arguments you plainly are not making. Here is what I wrote all the way back in December, 2010 about the accusations against Assange in Sweden:
    this is a double block quote of what he wrote in Dec 2010
    I think it’s deeply irresponsible either to assume his guilt or to assume his innocence until the case plays out. I genuinely have no opinion of the validity of those allegations.
    Nothing has changed my view of that since then. It’s really not that complicated: (1) Assange, like everyone else, is entitled to a presumption of innocence before he’s charged, let alone convicted of anything; (2) the accusations against him are serious and they should be accorded a fair resolution within a proper legal framework; and (3) until then, he has every right — just like everyone else does — to invoke any and all available legal protections and to have their validity decided upon.
  •  No grounds for asylum. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rei

    There is no well founded fear to escape questioning or prosecution for a domestic crime, even if one agrees with the politics of the accused.

    Moreover, so far as I know, asylum can only be invoked against the state the provides protection. The USA is not in that position here.

    •  There is a well-grounded fear that Assange (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, Don midwest

      will be persecuted for his political beliefs.

      See Center for Constitutional Rights' Michael Ratner on Democracy Now:

      And in my view, it was a—it is a situation of political persecution of Julian Assange for his political activities. And it does fit within the asylum—the asylum application procedure under the Declaration of Human Rights, which is what President Correa and/or at least what the embassy in London was mentioning.
      http://www.democracynow.org/...

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:59:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, susakinovember, Indiana Bob

      His claimed well-founded fear is being handed to the United States for arbitrary torture, indefinite detention etc.

      And given the kind of shit that prominent members of our government have said about him, it looks pretty well-founded to me.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:37:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  well I have problems with his arguments (0+ / 0-)

    here's a lawyers view

    Julian the Asylum Seeker | Nothing like The Sun

    How could Julian Assange claim asylum? Ecuador is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Under Article 1A(2) the Convention, a person is a ‘refugee’ and must be granted asylum if

    …owing to well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

    If the Ecuadorean authorities interpret the Convention consistently with international norms, Mr Assange will have to show the following:

    If  he's claiming that he's being extradited to Sweden so he can then be extradited to the US, you'd have to ask why?  (and I've never got an answer to this that I find satisfactory) If you look at the respective extradition treaties between the UK and the US and the one between Sweden and the US, it turns out that it is far easier to extradite from the UK than from sweden to the US. On top of this. There is no apparent logic to the argument, unless he's trying to avoid prison in Sweden.

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:59:59 AM PDT

    •  Many whistleblowers are accused of crimes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, Don midwest

      as a pretext for whistleblower retaliation. Glenn Greenwald offers significant evidence in U.K.'s the Guardian:

      The evidence that the US seeks to prosecute and extradite Assange is substantial. There is no question that the Obama justice department has convened an active grand jury to investigate whether WikiLeaks violated the draconian Espionage Act of 1917. Key senators from President Obama's party, including Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, have publicly called for his prosecution under that statute. A leaked email from the security firm Stratfor – hardly a dispositive source, but still probative – indicated that a sealed indictment has already been obtained against him. Prominent American figures in both parties have demanded Assange's lifelong imprisonment, called him a terrorist, and even advocated his assassination.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:15:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChurchofBruce

        why don't they extradite through the UK where there is quick and easy extradition to the US and not through Sweden where there isn't?

        Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

        by ceebs on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:46:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rei, sviscusi, SwedishJewfish

    It's nice to see all of this "concern" for Mr. Assange but what about his alleged victims?  Where is the concern and call for justice for them?  Or do all of his fans think they are lying?

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

    by lcj98 on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:03:19 AM PDT

    •  There is nothing to stop Assange from answering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest

      questions via e-mail or Skype.

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:21:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  First off, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SwedishJewfish

        it's not even legal for Swedish police to levy charges when he's not on Swedish soil (see my link earlier), so that's a total non-starter.  And two, since when do suspects get to dictate the terms on which they're questioned, not only ruling out the potential for charges to be levied, but to ensure that the questioners can't read body language or anything else of that nature?

        •  Assange is wanted for questioning not charges n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest

          My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

          by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:46:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for reiterating my point. (0+ / 0-)

            He can't be charged right now, unless he goes back to Sweden.

          •  That's not accurate (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nickrud, FG, Rei

            You either haven't read multiple posts on this topic, posts that explain that he IS, in fact, wanted on charges, and that it's simply a quirk in Swedish law that demands that he be afforded the opportunity to defend himself before charges are filed (plus the fact that he has to be on Swedish soil), NOT that there isn't already sufficient evidence to charge him.

            There is sufficient evidence. He IS wanted based upon the assumption that charges will be filed. That's why the extradiction was upheld - because under most other country's rules, he would have already been charged based upon the evidence they already have.

            He has to come back to Sweden for an interrogation, and unless he could somehow convince them that he is credible and the two women are not credible, he'll get arrested. If he refuses to talk in that interrogation, he'l be arrested and charged. If they think that the credibility of everyone is potentially in doubt, they'll arrest him and charge him.

            He IS, in fact, wanted on charges -  but their laws require this next step - that he be returned to Sweden and given an opportunity to be interrogated.

            That's why he'll be "thrown in jail" if he returns - because he is, in reality, basically already wanted on charges.

            •  And, cue the crickets (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lcj98, Rei

              Since JR can't refute a thing that I've written.

              Either she's failed to read the comments in her own diary (and multiple comments in previous diaries too, for that matter) OR she's refusing to acknowledge that her "version" of the event doesn't match reality.

              Extradictions aren't granted based upon the desire to question someone. They're based upon reasonable belief that someone is guilty based upon the available evidence.

              You've either bought into the nonsense that Assange and his lawyer have pushed or you're being disingenuous, and neither is a good place to argue from.

            •  Does Swedish law (0+ / 0-)

              recognise the "right to remain silent" ?

      •  You can't be serious? (0+ / 0-)

        The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

        by lcj98 on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:46:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of course that what his fans think. (0+ / 0-)

      Why bother asking? Saint Assange cannot possibly be guilty of any crimes.

    •  He hasn't been charged with a crime (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest

      If he did what he was alleged to have done, then he needs to be charged with that crime.

      But they haven't charged him.  Why?

      Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

      by Indiana Bob on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 12:57:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As with Joe Hill and Private Slovik ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, susakinovember

    ... a lot of this seems to come down to the question of state authority demanding to be respected, regardless of what other legal issues are involved.

    I am not a supporter of Assange, nor am I oblivious to the fact that he isn't a U.S. citizen as Hill and Slovik were, but in all of these cases it seems like the sticking point is over The Powers That Be demanding to be respected. From a practical point of view, there are other ways Swedish officials could have interviewed Assange about the claims of sexual misconduct made against him. But in a legal sense the Swedish government appears determined to  have him extradicted and to make him answer those allegations in person.

    Maybe Roman Polanski's legal battles are a better analogy to what's happening here, but for some reason I keep thinking about how the fight over Assange appears to be a proxy for the age-old struggle between the individual refusing to bow to authority and the legal and political machinery insisting on its absolute control of anyone who would challenge the status quo.

    Both Hill and Slovik were given the chance to save their lives if they would only submit to the government. Governor Spry of Utah and the military commanders in the Army did not really want to execute them. But as is often true, people in positions of power will not hesitate to kill troublemakers who question them and stand up for their own principles or encourage others to follow their conscience.

    I don't know how this will play out in the end. I can only be sure that Bradley Manning is screwed either way.

  •  it's a well-grounded fear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcj98, sviscusi, SwedishJewfish

    of persecution, not prosecution.  He has every right to apply, but you haven't made your case.

    "sexual misconduct allegations" is quite the understatement.  And what's Putin's record on these issues?   The Times article by the Savages today makes it clear how much these diaries have overstated the case against Obama.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:58:42 AM PDT

    •  Wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, gooderservice

      Obama was aware of the Drake case.

      As Danielle [Brian of the Project on Government Oversight] told the President, "Drake was exactly the kind of whistleblower who deserved protection."
      http://pogoblog.typepad.com/...

      And despite the Administration's doublespeak of saying that the Espionage Act prosectutions aren't "policy" while trotting them out to assuage Republican critics calling for more "leak" investigations, the NYT article also confirmed the obvious:

      Mr. Holder approved issuing a subpoena to Mr. Risen in the Sterling case, was briefed on all the cases before charges were filed and raised no objections, aides said.
      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:12:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's all Obama. (0+ / 0-)

        A passage from Jonathan Alter’s The Promise: President Obama, Year One (I have it on Kindle, and so can’t give a page reference):

        Obama had one pet peeve that could make him lose his cool. It was a common source of anger for presidents: leaks. Complaints about loose lips became a constant theme of Obama’s early presidency. At his first Cabinet meeting he made a point of saying that he didn’t want to see his Cabinet “litigating” policy through the New York Times and the Washington Post. At a Blair House retreat for the Cabinet and senior staff at the end of July he devoted about a quarter of his comments to urging his people to keeping their disagreements within the family: “We should be having these debates on the inside, not the outside.” And during his twenty hours of deliberations over Afghanistan in the fall, he returned repeatedly to the theme. Naturally in Washington nearly every time he got upset about leaks it leaked.

            For all his claims that he didn’t want yes-men around him, no one on his staff was brave enough to tell the president that obsessing over leaks was a colossal waste of time. (Aides should have recognized that the age-old problem in Washington isn’t managing leaks, but managing the president’s fury over them.) But it wouldn’t have mattered: leaks offended Obama’s sense of discipline and reminded him of everything he disliked about the capital. He was fearsome on the subject, which seemed to bring out his controlling nature to an even greater degree than usual.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:22:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hmm, Jonathan Alter (0+ / 0-)

          doesn't like a directive that cabinet members shouldn't dish dirt  to Jonathan Alter.  Even here, the discussion is over "litigating policy," so I'm not sure there's a direct connection, especially to investigations that predated his tenure.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:32:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  strawman. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lcj98

        There's a wide gap between being factually aware of something and having a deliberate, coordinated plan to go after whistleblowers, as such.  Besides, the sample size is too small.  The worst baseball team can go on a 6-3 run now and again.

        the piece noted, as well, that (a) to avoid concerns about politicizing the investigations the WH gave Holder wide rein, and (b) this and other matters were already sufficiently underway that a deus ex machina wasn't a terribly realistic option.  I suspect you already know this but it doesn't defend your clients in the court of public opinion to acknowledge it.  Which is completely appropriate, but don't argue for or from objectivity.

        Even setting aside that there's no evidence that Assange would be the subject of an extradition request to the U.S., I don't see why he shouldn't be.  He hasn't been charged, but I don't think Feinstein is wrong to suggest he can be.  Whether he should depends on a multitude of factors, none of which I much care about one way or the other.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:29:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Compromise in view? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philimus

    Ecuadoran ambassador to UK says Ecuador has a long tradition of supporting human rights but that the government of Ecuador does not want to interfere in the legal processes of Britain and Sweden.  She went on to say that the government of Ecuador wants to reach a solution with regard to Assange together with Britain.  Ecuador no quiere interferir con los procesos de Inglaterra y Suecia, dice la embajadora:

    Ana Albán, la embajador ecuatoriana en Londres, leyó una declaración a propósito de la solicitud de asilo de Julian Assange en la que dice que el Ecuador tiene una “antigua y bien establecida tradición de apoyo a los derechos humanos”, pero añadió que no está entre las intenciones del Gobierno ecuatoriano “interferir con los procesos tanto de los gobiernos de Inglaterra y de Suecia”. Así lo informa el diario inglés The Guardian. Según la declaración, el gobierno del Ecuador quiere llegar a una solución al tema de Assange en conjunto con Inglaterra. “Esta mañana he tenido una reunión con el representante del gobierno de Inglaterra para discutir la solicitud del señor Assange para asilo político. Las discusiones han sido cordiales y constructivas”. Agregó que saluda “la declaración del gobierno de Inglaterra de la noche de ayer en la que dice que ese gobierno está dispuesto a trabajar con el gobierno ecuatoriano para encontrar una solución”.
    One can certainly conceive of a compromise that could fulfill all these requirements.  Assange, for example, could be extradited to Sweden if Sweden gives assurance that he will not be extradited to the United States.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 12:50:48 PM PDT

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