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Just saw this on SkyNews in London. Julian Assange held a press conference along with the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister to announce he's leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy "soon" in order to get medical treatment.

Some confusion as to what the real reaon is why he is leaving. Assange said it is not for medical reasons, although SkyNews reports it as such:

Julian Assange has said he will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London "soon" after more than two years holed up inside the building.

The Australian was speaking at a news conference alongside Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino at the building in Knightsbridge.

Widespread reports had suggested the WikiLeaks website founder needs hospital treatment for heart and lung problems.

But the 43-year-old denied he was leaving the embassy for health reasons.

...

He said: "I am leaving the embassy soon - but perhaps not for the reasons the Murdoch press and Sky News are saying at the moment.

"Being detained in various ways in this country without charge for four years and in this embassy for two years which has no outside area, therefore no sunlight … it is an environment in which any healthy person would find themselves soon enough with certain difficulties."

Video interview also at the link:

http://news.sky.com/...

3:06 AM PT: 11:04 GMT: Update. Not clear that this all means anything. Assange now says he will leave embassy if UK lets him. To date, they haven't let him, so I don't see how this changes the state of play.

http://www.reuters.com/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:01:12 AM PDT

  •  I hope his health is okay. I used to be a very (8+ / 0-)

    big fan of Assange until I heard him raise up Rand Paul and also admit he anti-choice/'pro'-life. That pretty much did it for me.

    "In this world, hate has never yet dispelled hate. Only love can dispel hate." ~ Buddha

    by Leslie Salzillo on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:17:02 AM PDT

    •  oops. …admit he 'is' anti-choice/pro-life. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy, bananapouch1, G2geek, MartyM, exlrrp

      "In this world, hate has never yet dispelled hate. Only love can dispel hate." ~ Buddha

      by Leslie Salzillo on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:18:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Article mentions some health issues (0+ / 0-)

      Possible heart and lung problems.

      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

      by fcvaguy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:56:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what a bastard. (11+ / 0-)

      Assange lost me when:

      1)  He made the remark about impregnating women on every continent and leaving "lots of little Julians running around."  Sorry, but shoot-and-scoot fatherhood is for alley cats.

      2)  He persuaded Chelsea Manning to throw her life away on his behalf.  The sheer f---ing tragedy of that situation is just appalling.  

      So now it turns out he's a Paulista.  He has that in common with Snowden.  (What is it with these guys?)  But at least Snowden hasn't come out against abortion.

      This anti-abortion stuff from Assange is particularly appalling in light of (1) above.  He arrogates unto himself the right to shoot & scoot, and then doesn't want women to have the right to choose how to deal with the consequences of similar behavior by other males.

      Male privilege & mail prerogative: vomit!

      So yeah, I hope Assange comes out of the embassy.  I hope he gets whatever medical care he needs.  And then I hope he gets to face the proverbial music.  

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:24:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Chelsea Manning thing --- (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, exlrrp, Yasuragi

        If when he was communicating with Manning, he knew Manning had problems, then god help his soul for taking advantage of Manning. I guess we'll never know the truth of that aspect of the whole ordeal.

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:53:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  as a matter of fact... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fcvaguy, Yasuragi, timewarp, rduran

          ... I know a few more things about this than have been reported, and I would say it was highly likely he knew he was dealing with a kid who had serious troubles.

          Second, the very fact of a 40-something guy manipulating a kid who's not even old enough to legally drink a beer, is inherently detestable.  

          This aspect has been widely reported:  

          Manning started out releasing only the Iraq war video showing civilian casualties.  That, in and of itself, was arguably a legitimate whistle-blow because it involved an issue that was clearly a subject for a public debate about our policy in Iraq.  

          Assange encouraged Manning to think of (then) himself as someone who could save us from horrible things, if he would keep digging and keep leaking.  IMHO, classic spy manipulation of a source.  Assange's interactions with Manning resulted in Manning going on a manic romp through classified territory and bringing back "all that stuff," some of which was arguably legitimate whistle-blowing, some of which was actively harmful, and a great deal of which was just downright banal.  

          Really: what good does it do if we all know that Ambassador So-And-So doesn't like the Ambassador from Such-And-Such country because the latter is given to picking his nose at meetings?

          And for that, a kid sits in a cell.  

          Which is why I think Assange, if he had any honor, would offer to switch places with Manning.  

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:00:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I dont get your point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tommymet

        Are you saying that to support the free alternative press, you need to like the publisher?

        •  credit for good rhetorical point. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          exlrrp, Yasuragi

          "...you need to like the publisher?"

          Nicely done.

          Though, it's like "religious test for public office" as applied to voting.  

          Normally we as progressives do not like the idea of considering the religions of candidates when choosing who to vote for.  

          But there are limits to that.  A candidate who is a fanatical Dominionist is not someone we want in office, because they are going to support Dominionist policies that will plunge us back into the dark ages: anti-abortion, anti-marriage, anti-gay and anti-women generally, anti birth control, climate denialist, rapturist, etc. etc. all the way down the line.

          In the same way there are limits as to which businesses we patronize.  Hobby Lobby gets the big boycott for what it did.

          So in the same way, there are limits as to which publishers we support.   Larry Flynt had major impact on freedom of speech, but feminists don't support him because he was also the publisher of Hustler magazine, which was, in its day, pretty hard-core pornography that objectified women.

          One of the places I draw the line is when a middle-aged man is willing to manipulate a kid to throw his or her life away.  

          That does not forfeit the value of some of Manning's leaks, nor does it forfeit the value of there being organizations devoted to publishing leaked material.  

          But all other factors equal, we should prefer that publishers (and for that matter, spies) treat their sources with respect and seek to protect them, rather than throwing them under the bus.  

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:10:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with most of this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek
            One of the places I draw the line is when a middle-aged man is willing to manipulate a kid to throw his or her life away.  

            That does not forfeit the value of some of Manning's leaks, nor does it forfeit the value of there being organizations devoted to publishing leaked material.  

            Thats about right. Saying Assange used Manning for his own purposes doesn't negate the importance of the information.
            But it certainly wasn't a game changer, like Snowden's was, and the final upshot of it is it all went away but Manning sits in a prison for the next 30 years.
            All for Assange's agenda.
            I have always thought it a shame that Manning is the one who took the fall. I think the poor little person was manipulated into ruining her life for Assange's benefit (which didn't work out too well for Assange either.)

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:28:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Assange was an outsider with sufficient... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JackND, rduran, Tony Situ

              ... personality flaws that he himself would never have made it into any job that gave him access.  He had to depend on others to do the work for him.  Manning was one such: a young idealist whose ideals could be manipulated.

              Snowden was able to get in via the side door of private contractors, whose screening is hardly as strenuous as that of the agency itself.  Very clever route actually.  

              But in any case, yeah I agree, Assange wasn't especially articulate, whereas Snowden is very much so.  I heard Snowden on the radio the other day: he is very well spoken, he clearly knows his stuff, and he is a naturally likeable character despite being a Rand Paul libertarian and despite whatever criticism I have of some of what he did.  

              I also noticed that the radio broadcast, which was sympathetic to him, tweaked the audio equalization to put a bit more bass (low frequency components) into his voice to make him sound more "sexy."  Funny how that works.  

              What really sucks is, we need a serious national debate on intel policy, but we don't need all the melodrama or the irrelevant leaks such as re. Merkel's cellphone or the Indonesian stuff.  BTW, turns out that at the same time as we were collecting on Merkel, the German intel service was collecting in the US including on some high-value targets.  Thereby confirming what I've been saying all along, which is that "everyone does it to everyone else, including friends."  

              The real target of the Merkel intercepts was Putin, who is as paranoid as a roof rat, and very hard to intercept directly.  In all probability Merkel would not have been particularly pissed off had she been notified via proper diplomatic channels.  But having it splashed on the front page was insulting, and called for a strong public response.  Though I'm also willing to bet that she had a phone call with Obama where she said something along the lines of "my pissed-off rants about this are for domestic consumption in Germany."

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:02:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Floating balloons? (0+ / 0-)

    Floating balloons?

  •  Further squelched (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    in the Daily Mail:

    WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson made clear the rumours of Mr Assange's imminent departure were not true.

    "The world is not coming to an end," he told reporters inside the embassy. "The plan, as always, is to leave as soon as the UK Government decides to honour its obligations in relation to international agreements."

    Mr Hrafnsson said he did not know where the rumours reported in the British media had come from.

    •  so the... (0+ / 0-)

      world ending or not is linked to Julian's lodging arrangements? That's quite an ego cult going on over there at WikiLeaks.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:11:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I no longer care so much about what Assange (0+ / 0-)

    does. But I do think the public sabotage of Chelsea Manning which he was involved in, and the US government used as the perfect scapegoat situation, is one of the most egregious and abominable exercises in treachery ever foisted upon the "free" world. It was and is, disgusting. Manning should not have to suffer for the sins of others, but she certainly is and will continue to do so. Ah, justice.

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