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People would have been up in arms if China tried to arrest Chen Guangchen during his daring escape from house arrest.  But the UK police are literally circling that wagons around the Ecuadoria embassy in anticipation of Ecuador granting asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Here's a refresher: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that

Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(Article 14) Asylum is granted if you have a well-founded fear of political persecution, based on your political opinion, and the government is unable to stop it.

It would be completely contrary to the letter and the spirit of asylum for the UK to arrest Assange if he is granted asylum by Ecuador.

The United Nations 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees guides national legislation concerning political asylum. Under these agreements, Assange is a refugee--a person who is outside their own country's territory--owing to fear of persecution on protected grounds. Protected grounds include race, nationality, religion, political opinions and membership and/or participation in any particular social group or social activities.

Rendering victims of persecution to their persecutor (the UK arresting Assange to extradite to Sweden, which will promptly extradite him to the U.S., where he faces the death penalty) is a particularly odious violation of a principle called "non-refoulement," part of the customary and trucial Law of Nations.

These are the accepted terms and criteria as principles and a fundamental part in The U.N. 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees non-refoulement order.

If Assange is granted asylum in fifteen minutes, the UK should respect that.  Asylum orders take precedence over extradition orders, especially when the pretextual extradition orders serves as one of the bases of the asylum application.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is the UK prepared (24+ / 0-)

    to breach the Vienna Convention over this???

    If the Embassy is defended, and many are, will they risk the lives of Police Officers to get a guy who has done what?

    This seems extraordinarily stupid, even for Conservatives.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 04:54:32 AM PDT

  •  It's hard to believe this could happen (18+ / 0-)

    I can well believe Assange would be held somewhere like Guantanamo and tortured the way Bradley Manning has been tortured.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 04:55:36 AM PDT

  •  isnt this just a tad bit extreme? (24+ / 0-)

    he hasnt been charged with anything. does great britain go after all ppl wanted for questioning in another country with such gusto?

    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot

    by live1 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:01:23 AM PDT

  •  Too many accept the police state (7+ / 0-)

    And due to the change in the WH, both sides have capitulated.   And far too many progressives and conservatives accepted the status quo.  

    This is one of the Adminastrations greatest failings, but it is also a failing of the populace.   Sacrificing liberty for a facade of greater security.

    This WH is closer to the right side, but history will not look kindly only this WH civil rights record.

    Let's reelect them a give them a chance to course correct.

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:07:20 AM PDT

  •  A word from Socrates (13+ / 0-)

    Socrates: First, shouldn't we explain how a democracy becomes an oligarchy?

    Adeimantus:  Yes

    Socrates: The crucial step is that the rich figure out how to manipulate politics so the laws benefit them instead of the public.

    Adeimantus:  So it seems.

    Plato, Republic, 550d.

    Translated by Keith Quincy in his recent book "Worse Than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington's Rigged Statistics and Where to Go From Here."

  •  Ecuador Grants Asylum!! (13+ / 0-)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:26:55 AM PDT

  •  Too bad Assange wasn't smart enough to (40+ / 0-)

    engage in massive financial fraud, destroying the livelihoods of millions of people around the globe. THAT would have been a sure fire stay out of jail card.

    Inquiring minds want to know: What was Ben Lawsky's price for taking a dive?

    by WisePiper on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:43:14 AM PDT

  •  Not out of the woods yet - UK still try to nab him (14+ / 0-)

    He should be safe in the embassy but he still has to get to the airport and take off.

    Piece on Democracy Now this morning with one of his attorneys, Michael Ratner.  It should be posted on their web later on.

    Will have more unfolding stories on this as the day progresses.

  •  Is there a reputable source (0+ / 0-)

    for this rumor that the British are going to storm the embassy or prevent Assange from taking asylum in Ecuador?

    Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

    by jsfox on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:58:25 AM PDT

  •  Obvious fail (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, semiot, native, FG, cryonaut, VClib

    While I have sympathy for what is being presented as a put up job to extradite Assange to the USA, your basic premise is false:

    Here's a refresher: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that

       

    Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
    Assange is not in a foreign country, he is on British soil notwithstanding it is subject to certain provisions under the Vienna Conventions.

    Assange was detained under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) that the UK Supreme Court has held to be valid - twice if I remember correctly. At that point he breached his bail conditions and refused to surrender for extradition. He has, I understand, not chosen to take the case further to the ECHR. The British government has treaty obligations to enforce EAWs.

    The primary purpose of the police presence appears to be crowd control and they were asked by the embassy to remove demonstrators and their banners from directly outside to the other side of the road where the press are also located.

    Neither are they "poised". For a start, the 1987 Act requires 7 days notice to be given for the removal of the apartment's diplomatic  status. Secondly, a more general reading of the Act implies that this would have to involve the complete breaking of diplomatic relations. That is unlikely and the Foreign Office is well aware of the further implications to its own diplomats of such a move.

    Continuing on a TV near you; "The Magical Mitt Sorry Tour (Underpants Edit)"

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 06:04:52 AM PDT

    •  Assange... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit

      is a citizen of Australia, not the UK.  So he is on "foreign soil".  That said, I agree with the remainder of your comment.

      •  An embassy is not 'foreign soil'. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        voroki

        If it was, the British wouldn't be able to revoke it's embassy status.

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

        by nickrud on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 07:53:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  um, of course I missed your point (0+ / 0-)

        right up until a split second after I hit publish.

        That British soil is 'foreign' to Assange is irrelevant, since reference is to the Equadorian status on British soil.

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

        by nickrud on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 07:56:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The comment I replied to... (0+ / 0-)

          states:

          Assange is not in a foreign country, he is on British soil...
          My point was that while Australia is a member of the Commonwealth, its citizens do not have UK citizenship.  I believe the commenter is simply mistakenly thinking that Assange is British, which he is not.

          It is, however, irrelevant to the situation.  Regardless of his citizenship, he turned himself in to the British police and was dealt with by the British courts.  Those courts decided that the warrant was valid and ordered his extradition, at which time Assange violated his bail conditions and led to the current situation.

          As for the Embassy, under common understanding its grounds are, indeed, Ecuadorian soil.  Just as the grounds of the US Embassy is considered US soil.  Only a revocation of diplomatic relations could change that.  If the British storm this Embassy, it brings into legitimate question the status of every embassy in the world, regardless of the nation it represents.  It could lead to a massive diplomatic incident involving numerous nations.

          Would we allow the British to storm our London Embassy?  Think about that for a moment.

  •  He can live in the Ecuadorean Embassy, then. (6+ / 0-)

    The right of embassy asylum isn't a right of safe transit...that's a matter of state-to-state negotiation with no guarantee of success.  I suppose they could disguise him as a giant bowl of encebollado (it's the national dish, you know) and smuggle him out.

    Mitt Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 06:32:05 AM PDT

  •  The UDHR isn't a treaty. (0+ / 0-)

    Nothing in it is binding, save some definitions that are used in other treaties.

  •  Appalling how the word "rape" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cardinal96, lcj98, FG

    wasn't used once in the diary.  Can we at least acknowledge that this guy has been accused of rape, or do we have to pretend that our political heroes are incapable of doing bad things?  

    Bring on the rape apologia.  

    •  Yes, he was "accused". Happy now? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      triv33
      •  he's not just 'accused' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lcj98, downsouth

        he's under active investigation. Equador also is actively interfering with Sweden's legal right to pursue it's investigation. Sweden isn't the Soviets, or China, or Myanmar. I'm still trying to understand how people who otherwise trumpet the rule of law and the importance of honest legal procedure can just switch gears because it's Assange.

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

        by nickrud on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 07:52:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Honest legal procedure"? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre, Funkygal

          Ahem.

          "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

          by native on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:15:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  except that sweden refuses to pledge (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo, expatjourno, fuzzyguy, Funkygal

          that they won't extradite him to the US on unrelated charges and the swiss showed no interest in pursuing their "investigation" within the confines of the Ecuadoran embassy as offered by Assange...

          if you can't smell a set-up, it's because you don't like assange...

          Greenwald -

          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.

          For several reasons, Assange has long feared that the US would be able to coerce Sweden into handing him over far more easily than if he were in Britain. For one, smaller countries such as Sweden are generally more susceptible to American pressure and bullying.

          For another, that country has a disturbing history of lawlessly handing over suspects to the US. A 2006 UN ruling found Sweden in violation of the global ban on torture for helping the CIA render two suspected terrorists to Egypt, where they were brutally tortured (both individuals, asylum-seekers in Sweden, were ultimately found to be innocent of any connection to terrorism and received a monetary settlement from the Swedish government).

          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.

          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.

          No responsible person should have formed a judgment one way or the other as to whether Assange is guilty of anything in Sweden. He has not even been charged, let alone tried or convicted, of sexual assault, and he is entitled to a presumption of innocence. The accusations made against him are serious ones, and deserve to be taken seriously and accorded a fair and legal resolution.

          But the WikiLeaks founder, like everyone else, is fully entitled to invoke all of his legal rights, and it's profoundly reckless and irresponsible to suggest, as some have, that he has done anything wrong by doing so. Seeking asylum on the grounds of claimed human rights violations is a longstanding and well-recognized right in international law. It is unseemly, at best, to insist that he forego his rights in order to herd him as quickly as possible to Sweden.

          No System of Justice Can Rise Above the Ethics of Those Who Administer It. (Wickersham Commission 1929)

          by No Exit on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:58:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You don't know much about the Swedish legal... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy

          ...system, do you?

          The two women did not go to their nearest police station. They went to one where one of their friends was working. This policewoman took their statement, in violation of police procedure, which dictates that she step aside, since she is an interested party.

          The statements were not taped, also a violation of Swedish police procedure. Two prosecutors declined to press charges or pursue an investigation. A prosecutor who is a member of a radical feminist faction overruled.

    •  We can acknowledge that but it doesn't change (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      triv33

      anything about the content of this diary, misslegalbeagle.

      Can we at least acknowledge that this guy has been accused of rape,

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 07:47:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's the thing... (0+ / 0-)

        not acknowledging the fact that Mr. Assange is being investigated for rape does change the content of the diary.  

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

        by lcj98 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:21:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  in what way does that change the content of diary? (0+ / 0-)

          If you are not aware of the details concerning Assange, and need to have that pointed out to you.....

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

          by allenjo on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:40:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  *blank stare* (0+ / 0-)

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

            by lcj98 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:15:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nothing to say? (0+ / 0-)

              "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

              by allenjo on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:20:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yup... (0+ / 0-)

                Can't figure out how you're ok with an accused rapist doing whatever he can not to clear his name.

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

                by lcj98 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:16:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Perhaps Assange is more concerned at this point (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BradyB

                  Perhaps Assange is more concerned at this point of being extradicted to the US and facing the death penalty or possilbly the rest of his life in prison, than he is with clearing his name of a possible rape charge.

                  And if I was in his position, the possibility of being charged with rape would be overshadowed by the possibility of being charged in the US under the espionage act.

                  -------

                  Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the WikiLeaks founder in the US, said Assange and his legal team considered it highly likely that he would face an onward extradition to the US if he were sent to Sweden.

                  "The concrete reality [is] that he was facing a political prosecution in the US, he was facing the death penalty or certainly life in jail. Faced with that, he had extremely limited choices."

                  Barring a last-ditch appeal to the European court of human rights, Assange could have expected to be extradited imminently, after the supreme court rejected the last of his attempts to resist removal to Sweden over accusations of sex assaults made by two women in August 2010.

                  The Assange team believes the US is likely to seek to prosecute him on espionage charges, which carries a potential death penalty, and that his chances of resisting any such extradition warrant would be more difficult in Sweden, where he would not receive bail during investigations into the alleged sex crimes and where his lawyers believe political and public opposition to a US extradition claim would be weaker.
                  http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

                  "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

                  by allenjo on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:48:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  He has not been charged with rape, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pescadero Bill, IreGyre, JVolvo, Funkygal

      he has only been accused of it. The underlying issue, once you strip away all the various legalisms, is that the US, GB, and Sweden are all complicit in a scheme to get Julian Assange behind bars, and throw away the key.

      And it's not because of his alleged sexual crimes. It's because of WikiLeaks is stepping on the toes of many powerful people, in the US and elsewhere.

      I see Rafael Correa as a lone hero in this affair, and I think it's a shame that he is not being wholeheartedly supported by many other national leaders.

      "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

      by native on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:09:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh please. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        voroki, VClib

        If the United States wanted Assange behind bars, he would be sitting in Guantanamo quicker than you can say "rendition".  There is not a nation on the planet, including the UK, that could stop it.

        Assange is no hero.  He is an opportunistic attention-whore who, once, had a good idea and went with it.  That idea was WikiLeaks, which I supported in its revelations concerning war crimes and other military excesses in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They lost my support when they began causing intentional damage to my country by publishing diplomatic communications that were legally, and rightly, classified.

      •  Actually... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        ...it's not so much about Wikileaks stepping on people's toes.  You know how many people lost their jobs in the USA due to Wikileaks?  1.  Bradley Manning.  We didn't learn didly shit from those cables that mattered.

        What did happen, though, is that the cable revealed the names and locations of native US informants behind the lines of an active warzone.  When that happens, it shuts down out ability to collect active intelligence.  That's why the US/UK want Assange - to insure that human intelligence sources can work with with the US in places like Syria or Libya without having to worry about some trumped up goofball with an axe to grind spilling their names all over the internet.

        That's what this is about.  You frame this in the context of what we learned from Manning/Assange vs. the damage they did and you begin to understand why the government wants him so bad.  And why they'll eventually get him.  

        Ecuador puts him in the Americas.  He's a fool to take this asylum.  A little money here and there and one day, very soon, Mr. Assange will wake up in Norfolk.  

        No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

        by CrazyHorse on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:10:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mr. Assange hasn't even yet (0+ / 0-)

          gotten out of Britain, but assuming he somehow makes it to Ecuador, I hope he is able to safely stay there. I'm not OK with the USA "distributing a little money here and there" so he can wake up in Norfolk.

          Our national security establishment is busy gathering and collating ever more information about US citizens -- eavesdropping so to speak, on each and every one of us, using laws that grant it the utmost secrecy. The public has very little defense against such activity.

          The amount of information that this establishment labels "classified" and beyond the rights of citizens to know, is absurdly and unnecessarily huge, and in many cases serves primarily to disguise incompetent and extra-legal activity. Patriotic whistleblowers like Thomas Drake are being hounded and ruined with malicious prosecutions conducted by our Justice Department, for merely shining a light into dark corners of what are after all, public institutions.

          Whatever transgressions and indiscretions WikiLeaks has committed (I admit there have been some) pale in comparison to the service it provides, as a means for private citizens to reveal secret information, held by powerful institutions, that should not be secret. There is a lot of it.

          "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

          by native on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:42:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  oferchrissakes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, dfarrah, IreGyre

      the world would be a different and better place if rapists in general were actually pursued as they should be.

      You know very well that he is not being pursued for this rape charge.

      If he actually did commit the rape of which he's accused yet had nothing to do with wikileaks/Manning etc., you know as well as everyone else that this would not be happening.

      This is how special-interests take care of bid'ness. They could not give a shit about the victim. Want an example of jus thow much the big-interests don't give a shit about rape? They should.

      But. They. Don't.

  •  Update: Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco
    CARACAS, Venezuela — Ecuador said on Thursday that it had decided to grant political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Mr. Assange has been holed up for two months in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where the police scuffled with and arrested some of his supporters on Thursday.

     The announcement was made by the Ecuadorean foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, at a news conference in Quito, where the government set a defiant tone over pressure from Britain. Just before the announcement, President Rafael Correa said: “No one is going to terrorize us!”

    .Mr. Patiño said he hoped Britain would permit Mr. Assange to leave the embassy in London for Ecuador — a request Britain has rejected, saying it has a legal obligation to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden, where is wanted to face questioning about allegations of sexual misbehavior.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

  •  So the UK protected Pinochet who actually had (13+ / 0-)

    formal charges filed against him, but are going all out for Assange? This does not pass the smell test.

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 07:00:47 AM PDT

    •  yeah... Pinochet Crimes vs. made up alleged rape.. (0+ / 0-)

      accusations against Assange.... pretty much exactly the same!!! and the Brits handed Pinochet over right away right?... oh yeah... heh... instead he had tea with Thatcher... lovely...

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:51:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I cannot credit that the UK would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howarddream

    storm the embassy. That would be an act of war; technically, an embassy is sovereign territory of the nation housed there.

    Surrounding it to put pressure on Assange and / or Ecuador is more likely.

    Recall when Manuel Noreiga sought refuge in the Vatican embassy, the US surrounded the embassy and kept him bottled up. They also played loud, obnoxious music to annoy the inhabitants.

    Romney economics: Feed our seed corn to the fattest pigs and trust them to poop out jobs.

    by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 07:00:56 AM PDT

  •  The Brts refused to invade the Libyan embassy... (9+ / 0-)

    ...when someone from that embassy fired a gun from the window and killed policewoman Yvonne Fketcher.

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

    Anyone who thinks the Brits are threatening this over the charges Assange faces in Sweden is a fucking idiot.

    •  No, I don't think they will, (0+ / 0-)

      but is there any way for the embassy to get him out of there? And then to Ecuador? How do you see it possibly playing out?

      "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

      by native on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:24:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup... (0+ / 0-)

      because the accusations and rights of those women who were allegedly rape by this guy don't mean shit.  We all know them bitches be lyin' away, right?

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

      by lcj98 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:26:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The law that the brits are invoking here was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      actually passed BECAUSE of what happened with Yvonne Fletcher so don't think they won 't  do it

      "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

      by voroki on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:27:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sexual assault is not political opinion? Nice to (0+ / 0-)

    know.

  •  You just invent stuff b/c you feel like it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cryonaut, downsouth, CrazyHorse

    Is he your client as well?

  •  Got evidence? (0+ / 0-)

    1) that the UK is "poising" to do anything
    2) that the rape charges are anything other than rape charges?

    I didn't think so.

    Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

    by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 08:47:40 AM PDT

    •  So you post at 10:47 am and didn't read the (0+ / 0-)

      links to the Guardian from 8am?

      Re UK "diplomatic" letter to Equador Tuesday:

      At a press conference on Wednesday, Patiño released details of a letter he said was delivered through a British embassy official in Quito, the capital of the South American country.

      The letter said: "You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the embassy."

      It added: "We need to reiterate that we consider the continued use of the diplomatic premises in this way incompatible with the Vienna convention and unsustainable and we have made clear the serious implications that this has for our diplomatic relations."

      Forceable arrest of Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy.  Got it?  Pretty simple.

      Maybe you'll read the Guardian link this time?

      The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

      by JVolvo on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:52:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More misrepresentation? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lcj98

        Stating that Ecuador is in contravention of the Geneva conventions that that there is a legal basis to do so is NOT evidence of any kind that the UK is poised to do any of the above.  

        It is a diplomatic letter staking out a legal position that it would be within the UK's rights to do so.  The Guardian link says nothing at all about being poised to storm the embassy.  This holds about as much water as the slander on Sweden that it runs a politically corrupt judiciary.

        Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:04:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In fact taht link DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS you (0+ / 0-)
        The Foreign Office was quick to downplay the drama. A spokesman said Britain had merely sought to "clarify its position", according to international law.

        "Throughout this process we have drawn the Ecuadoreans' attention to relevant provisions of our law – for example, the extensive human rights safeguards in our extradition procedures, or the legal status of diplomatic premises in the UK," a spokesman said.

        "We are still committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution."

        IN other words, the UK government expressly states it is NOT poised to storm anything.  

        But reality has not been a plyer in this discussion for a very long time.  It is the left's answer the Obama being a Kenyan Muslim Socialist

        Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:06:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course they will publicly step back from the (0+ / 0-)

          implied threat in the letter, duh.  Bullying tends to look bad in full daylight.

          You seem very trusting of govt spin 101.  Did you think Bush's Clear Skies initiative was dreamy?  No Child Left Behind?  That sounds great!

          Derp.

          The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

          by JVolvo on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 03:48:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Agree that the UK should not take the embassy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    downsouth, CrazyHorse, VClib

    That being said, I'm struggling to see how running Wikileaks and leaking classified information about several diplomatic negotiations and conversations from several countries fits into these categories:

    Protected grounds include race, nationality, religion, political opinions and membership and/or participation in any particular social group or social activities.
  •  The difference being... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    ...of course that Assange is not requesting asylum to escape political persecution, he's requesting asylum to escape being arrested on criminal charges relating to espionage.  As a result Article 14 does not apply.  In fact, it goes against the spirit of the asylum provision for peope like Assange to be allowed to abuse it in order to escape criminal prosecution.  

    Bradly Manning will rot in jail while Julian Assange - his puppet master - goes free.  And the Afghan informants who died because one man violated his oath and another hung him out to dry will still be dead.  And for what?  So the world could learn that US diplomats thought Qadaffi's nurse had big tits.  

    What Wikileaks has given us in terms of information disclosure in no way merits the hero worship Assange has been granted.  In fact, the one thing we have learned from Wikileaks is just how little information the US government classifies.  

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:00:24 AM PDT

    •  ? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, deben
      In fact, it goes against the spirit of the asylum provision for peope like Assange to be allowed to abuse it in order to escape criminal prosecution.  
      Do you really think if all Assange was facing was possible rape prosecution that he would have asked for asylum?

      On the below, perhaps a bit of research is in order if you feel that is all you learned.

      In fact, the one thing we have learned from Wikileaks is just how little information the US government classifies.  

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:44:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        I know exactly what's in those cables.  Believe me.  Probably better than anyone on this site.  And I'd like you to show me something that came from them that was "earth shaking."  The press waited with baited breath for the release and is all we learned is what we know - the US government plays hardball on the international political stage and its employees talk frankly in their correspondence when they believe no one will read it.

        I suggest you take your own advice and do some research as well.  

        No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

        by CrazyHorse on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:29:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How "little" info the US classifies....... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deben
          in 2010 the government augmented the volume of classified documents by a whopping 40 per cent over the previous year and that number is expected to have increased since. The level of non-transparency under the Obama administration has led former head of the US classification process, J William Leonard, to call the system "dysfunctional".
          We have had more classified documents, not less.

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

          by allenjo on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 12:05:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What a disgusting comment (0+ / 0-)
      Bradly Manning will rot in jail while Julian Assange - his puppet master - goes free.
      This just reaches a new low for this site for lack of human decency, assuming you're advocating that Bradley Manning rot.  It surprises me to find it said here.

      Bradley Manning has been convicted of nothing.  He has been held for more than 2 years, and "rotting" for over a year of it in solitary confinement.

      Guilty before proven innocent is not an American principle.  Nor is torture.  Our Constitution means nothing if it doesn't apply to each of us.  Beyond the letter of the law which we all used to know with clarity, it is no way to treat a fellow human being.  "Rot?"

      Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

      by deben on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:50:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  deben, I don't think CrazyH was advocating at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CrazyHorse

        regarding Manning, just stating the likely outcome of the Manning court martial. Anyone who thinks that Manning will not spend the next 30 years in military prison is delusional. While the term "rot" was extreme it is a commonly used term when people face very long prison sentences and does not infer that they would be malnourished to the point where the prisoner would actually rot away.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:36:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're Correct (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          If you want to know the likely fate of Manning, it's the same fate as Aldrich Aimes, who's in the high-security pen in Allenwood, PA.  He's allowed few visitors due to the information he still holds in his head.  Same with Robert Hanssen.  He gets a few visitors, but once you show that you cannot be trusted to keep the government's secret information, well, secret...you become a national security risk.  

          Honestly, I'm not sure why this doesn't make sense to folks - perhaps because we on the Left are naturally anti-establishment.  But from what we know about Manning and Assange, they're not leftist heroes.  Manning did what he did to try to injure the government and, specifically, this sitting president.  And Assange did what he did because he admittedly hates the United States and wanted to cause us harm.  

          My personal belief is, we, on the Left, shouldn't allow that to stand.  We should be willing to play on a level playing field and to act as fair players - even, when, sometimes people don't treat us fairly.  We cannot become the thing we hate.  

          The people whose lives were injured and exposed by Wikileaks are good people doing their jobs.  They're career civil servants - not partisan politicians - people like you and me with families to feed.  Manning and Assange exposed them, their duty station, their work, and their words without ever considering how it might injure those people, cause harm to them, and make them targets of our enemies, both foreign and domestic.  

          To me, it's just anti-government hatred that motivates those who support Assange.  His supporters have forgotten that, for all its faults, our government is "people, my friend."  

          No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

          by CrazyHorse on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:46:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How did you feel about Ellsberg? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            deben

            From my experience of over 40 years - and I served in the military and grew up on military bases - the people who run the military/security/industrial complex are neither trustworthy nor friends of most people in the world, including Americans.

            Many, many more innocent people have suffered and died as a result of American aggression, duplicity, and greed over the past half century than have allegedly been harmed by wikileaks.

            The government is indeed people, many good people. Down the darker corridors, however, where citizens are not welcome and the billions are squandered, dwell some really evil motherfuckers.

            "I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it." - Ray Bradbury

            by chuckvw on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 12:38:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good grief (0+ / 0-)
            Manning did what he did to try to injure the government and, specifically, this sitting president.
            So we're having a proxy pie fight about Obama?  Is that a reason why Manning and Assange have already been tried and sentenced by some on this site?  Because they're not Obama supporters?

            Justice appears not to be blind here.

            Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

            by deben on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 02:26:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  CrazyHorse needs some new friends (0+ / 0-)

          Having you, VClib, agreeing with him on an issue like this is pretty much the kiss of death.  "Likely outcome," my rear end.  You strike me as the kind of person who would always show up to defend cops with clubs.  Like the ones who beat OWS protesters for breaking local ordinances such as park curfews.  Students and mothers beaten for camping in public parks, for instance.

          Bradley Manning has not been tried and has already been subjected to punishing torture.  Mr. Assange has every reason to believe he would receive the same treatment.  That just gives you a special kind of thrill that the rest of us simply can't understand, doesn't it, VClib?

          Am I wrong?

          Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

          by deben on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 02:18:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  deben - what's with the personal attack? (0+ / 0-)

            I was just responding to the comment that wanting someone to "rot" was inhumane. As CrazyHorse wrote in his answer to my comment he doesn't want Manning to rot, and neither do I.  My comment on Manning's fate was based on my understanding of military court martial in the US Army and the near certainty that he will be convicted and sentenced to a very long term, possibly life. I expressed no opinion about Manning's guilt or innocence.  

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 02:59:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You don't want Manning to "rot," (0+ / 0-)

              so you say.  CrazyHorse amended his definition downthread of "rot" to, uh, a

              metaphor for "never getting out of prison."
              which ignores the torture he's already endured, btw.  This discussion seems to involve tough-guy gangster-movie talk, which it turns out is only metaphoric for something else, and solitary confinement of the accused for over a year is never mentioned.  How poetical.

              Less like a dispassionate authority on US Army court martial proceedings; more like an arm-chair prosecutor, VClib.  Know thyself.

              Solitary Confinement: It has been widely documented that solitary confinement is a cruel practice which causes permanent psychological damage to those who have been treated in that manner. Solitary confinement alone, even in the absence of brutality can cause emotional damage, hallucinations, delusions, depersonalisation and declines mental functioning. It has also been documented that the circumstances surrounding the detention has a significant impact on the psychological damage experienced by the detainee, such as not knowing why they are being detained in such a way which is common in Guantanamo. Solitary confinement is banned under Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions as it amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
              http://www.amnesty.org.au/...

              When something like this is done to our soldiers by foreign governments or terrorists, we raise hell.  When done by our own government to one of our own soldiers, someone will always come forward to sanction the whole proceeding, this time by citing a special "understanding" of a US Army court martial.  Everyone who disagrees is "delusional," as you've called us.  VClib, "what's with the personal attack?"

              Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

              by deben on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 03:53:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  deben - my comment that included the term (0+ / 0-)

                "delusional" was in regards to my view that Manning will be convicted and sentenced to a long term at his court martial. Military courts and juries are even more insulated from public opinion than civilian courts. I am not a lawyer or expert on the UCMJ or court martial procedure, although I have served on a court martial jury. Manning does have five levels of appeal after his court martial, including the POTUS and the Supreme Court, and I think it is likely that his case will be pursued through all levels of appeal. At one of those appeals his treatment when he was in Quantico may be considered. At present the DoD does not consider solitary confinement as torture, and it has not been ruled as torture by the SCOTUS, or any state supreme court, to the best of my knowledge.

                I think it is appropriate for people to object to Manning's treatment, advocate that he have a fair trial and support him and his defense. I don't know if he is guilty or innocent because I have not seen any of the evidence, but if he did in fact release thousands of classified documents he should be kept in prison for a very long time. We can't have PFCs making their own decisions on what material should be unclassified. Had Manning released only the helicopter attack I think he would have a legitimate whistleblower defense, but if he did release thousands of classified documents I don't think he can legitimately claim whistleblower status.  

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 04:40:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Actually. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, lcj98

        I advocate that Manning face his court martial for violating his oath of office, his employement agreement, his security clearance, and the trust placed in him when he put on the uniform.  Every government employee and service person takes that same oath when we go to work.  Our positions are based on the trust that our colleagues and co-workers "have our back" and are not looking abuse that trust to further their own ends, politically or personally.  A person of genuine courage and character that has a problem with the how the government works doesn't try to sabotage the government in secret by handing over national security materials to a foreign national.  

        When you take a job like Manning's you're told what the consequences are if you do what he did.  He did it any way knowing full well what could happen to him.  And, as a result, he'll stand trial and face a jury of his peers.  

        I believe that Assange, the foreign national behind Manning's oppo, should have to do the same.  

        The tragedy of it all is - who the hell is talking about Wikileaks?  It wasn't the Pentagon Papers.  It wan't Watergate.  It was nothing but tough talking diplomats.  A life career and life ruined...for nothing.  And now the government will clamp down and be even MORE secreative.  

        Embracing Manning and Assange, really, is a position, as a career government employee myself, I simply cannot sanction.  We can't function as a coherent workforce if we live in constant fear of our colleagues.    

        No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

        by CrazyHorse on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:36:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And again.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..."rot" is merely a metaphor for "never getting out of prison."

        Dude, haven't you ever seen a gangster movie?

        Damn.  

        No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

        by CrazyHorse on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:47:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

          Condescension on this issue won't win friends.  Bradley Manning has already received cruel and unusual punishment for a crime for which he has not been convicted.  Be glib and gleeful as you will, but not all of us agree than Bradley Manning deserves what he's gotten and what he may be in for.

          Consider your solution to the Wikileaks issue being used on those whom you do respect.  Because if the treatment of Bradley Manning is valid now in our world, then it can be used on all of us.

          This should not a matter of proving your credibility, IMO.  Rooting for an innocent-till-proven guilty man to rot in prison might gain respect with Repugs, but who cares whether people like that respect you?  Hard to believe I'm having to argue this crap on DKos.

          Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

          by deben on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 01:24:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's interesting to know.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, chuckvw

    That all the opposition needs to do to destroy a leftist icon is to accuse them of rape. Then they can just sit back and watch while "guilty until proven innocent" does all the work for them.

    We're just like Republicans. The Constitution and Bill of Rights only matters when it is convenient for us.

    •  Apparently we are also like republicans in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lcj98

      that some don't take rape charges seriously

      "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

      by voroki on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:52:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We are a Constitution over here in the U.S. (0+ / 0-)
    We have a history of supporting the truth tellers and seek truth of open governments.  

    We are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE.  You know -- First Amendment Rights -- and don't like gulags and clandestine illlegal things.

    We just need a good product liability lawyer to sue that condom manufacturer, and point out that the trumped up charges are out of whack!

    Connect the dots:  Truth Teller must seek asylum for broken condom.

    Does not compute . . . in a FREE SOCIETY!

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:39:16 AM PDT

  •  Assange's lawyers have eviscerated the case... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    ...against him.

    Here are some links:
    http://samtycke.nu/...

    http://www.nnn.se/...

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    if this is supposed to be an elaborate plot to get Mr. Assange to the US, then this is the WORSE. CONCEIVED. PLAN. EVER.

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

    by lcj98 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 11:06:09 AM PDT

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