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One Year Since Assange Took Refuge in Ecuadorian Embassy 541

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the crawling-up-the-walls dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes with an article marking the one year anniversary of Julian Assange seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. From the article: "Uninterested in facing U.S. justice, Assange said he's prepared to spend five years living there. If he goes out for a walk, he'll be extradited to Sweden to answer rape accusations —after which he has no promise from Sweden to deny further extradition efforts to America, where a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks awaits. This also means that London's Metropolitan Police have been devoting their resources to keeping tabs on Assange for a year. Yesterday, a spokesperson explained the updated costs of guarding the embassy over the phone: 'From July 2012 through May 2013, the full cost has been £3.8 million ($5,963,340),' he said. '£700,000 ($1,099,560) of which are additional, or overtime costs.' Julian has a treadmill, a SAD lamp, and a connection to the Internet, through which he's been publishing small leaks and conducting interviews. The indoor lifestyle has taken its toll on Julian, and it led to his contracting a chronic lung condition last fall."
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One Year Since Assange Took Refuge in Ecuadorian Embassy

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  • Why bother guarding the embassy?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chrisq (894406)

      Why bother guarding the embassy?

      In this case I think that is a very good question. If they put up a reward for a tenth of what they've paid on guarding him, send posters round the area, then he would not get far if he got out. Its not like he's a Muslim terrorist who will exit in a burka and plant bombs when he gets out.

      • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @11:34AM (#44050321)

        No it's worse than that, he posted some text on the internet!

      • "Its not like he's a Muslim terrorist"

        Or, you know, any other bomb-wielding terrorist?

      • by sjames (1099)

        But whoever is doing the guarding would have to have arrest powers so that he's not in the air on his way to Ecuador by the time they can notify the police and get someone out there.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      It's only the UK taxpayers money so whoever is pushing this stupid little game of trap the leaker from the USA is not footing the bill and doesn't care.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nhat11 (1608159)

        They're getting paid anyways, the question is where they could be used better resource wise is the issue.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If Assange comes out, he'll be arrested and jailed. He won't be in general population, so the cost of guarding him will not be $28k per year. He'll be isolated and placed on suicide watch, increasing the cost considerably. His lung condition will have to be treated.

      The current situation suits "The Government" very well: he's isolated, he's got little access to specialized medical treatment and the cost of keeping him in there is equal, if not smaller that having him go to jail and on trial.

    • How much additional money is actually being spent? Is this much more expensive than the costs associated with incarcerating Assange for up to 5 years?

      Seems much quicker and cheaper to let Assange impose his own 5 year sentence.

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @11:12AM (#44050047)

    Lots of people turn to raping after making speeches [guardian.co.uk] criticizing the primacy of the U.S. dollar, or revealing U.S. top secret documents. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if Edward Snowden weren't considering raping some poor women right now, or molesting kids, or selling secrets to the Chinese, or kicking puppies.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @12:46PM (#44051299)

      Lots of people turn to raping after making speeches criticizing the primacy of the U.S. dollar, or revealing U.S. top secret documents. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if Edward Snowden weren't considering raping some poor women right now, or molesting kids, or selling secrets to the Chinese, or kicking puppies.

      In politics that if you can't attack the message, you attack the messenger. The United States has several organizations dedicated to discrediting people who come forward with allegations of impropriety against the government. It is a standard tactic used by many governments; Distributing disinformation is a time-honored military and political strategy.

      And it is very effective. Just look at this thread: Some people have been completely taken in by it and the discussion now revolves not around the correctness of whistle blowing, or whether society benefits from an organization like wikileaks, or if what the government was exposed in having done was right or wrong... the entire discussion now centers largely on Julian.

      • by Alef (605149)

        And it is very effective. Just look at this thread: Some people have been completely taken in by it and the discussion now revolves not around the correctness of whistle blowing, or whether society benefits from an organization like wikileaks, or if what the government was exposed in having done was right or wrong... the entire discussion now centers largely on Julian.

        Well, maybe because TFA is about Julian, and not about Wikileaks, or whistle blowing or government wrong-doing. I'd say it is you who are the one conflating the person with the deed right now. But then again, I guess that proves your point as well, in a way.

        • Well, maybe because TFA is about Julian, and not about Wikileaks, or whistle blowing or government wrong-doing. I'd say it is you who are the one conflating the person with the deed right now. But then again, I guess that proves your point as well, in a way.

          An irony not lost on me, I assure you.

  • HI JULIAN (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @11:15AM (#44050091)
    We know you read Slashdot. You're a geek who can't go outside, so you've gotta be here. Come on and say hi to us already.
  • This is stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @11:18AM (#44050139) Homepage

    Even in prison you are actually allowed to go outside. Presumably he prefers an internet connection to being able to see the sun? What he's got now is hardly better than it he was extradited to the USA and thrown in jail, except he doesn't get to be a martyr or fight a decent trial this way.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @11:35AM (#44050349) Homepage

    One of two bad things will happen:

    1. The US's influence over the world will implode
    2. The US's influence over the world will be "something something something 'DarkSide' something something something 'Complete!'"

    What happens next should be obvious. Personally, I hope US influence implodes -- we need freedom and democracy again.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @11:37AM (#44050375) Homepage
    hes lived in a room in an embassy for an entire year, but its just questioning
    hes prepared to live 5 more years in the embassy, but its just questioning
    £200,000 bail was required to get him out of the klink, where he was awaiting extradition for questioning
    swedish prosecutors have been given access to assange in jail, in the embassy, and during his house arrest on bail to which they declined
    the british government has committed £3.8 million to playing what amounts to a very childish game of whack-a-mole with no end in sight...just to process an extradition for questioning about a possible rape.
    The case is hillariously frought with inconsistency. There are more consistent rape and assault allegations on an episode of Jerry Springer, but for some reason the swedish criminal justice system cant seem to get this one even remotely credible.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Allegations_of_sexual_assault_and_political_refugee [wikipedia.org]
    the US denies any "witch-hunt" is being undertaken but this is coming from a country that practices rendition, operates torture camps, and executes its own citizens without trial. So its safe to say the opinion of the government targeted by Assanges leaks is wholly unqualified to comment upon their response.

    Assange knows what we all refuse to admit: Sweden might be his country of extradition, but his final destination is the cuban resort with the lemon-pepper fish and waterboard wednesdays.
  • I basically never go outside and my lungs are just fine, lol. I don't see the cause and effect there. When I do go outside (summer at least) boom, allergy meltdown. Now that's a lung condition.
    • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @12:35PM (#44051149) Homepage

      unless they have a contraindication like sarcoidosis: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/ [vitamindcouncil.org]

      Humans are adapted to live in the sunshine. The US RDA for vitamin D is way too low for most adults, especially ones who spend most of their time indoors these days (which is most everyone in the USA): http://www.grassrootshealth.net/recommendation [grassrootshealth.net]

      It's not surprise Assange has lung issues if he has become vitamin D deficient: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/pneumonia/ [vitamindcouncil.org]

      If you have allergies, look into adding more phytonutrients to your diet along with the vitamin D.
      http://www.drfuhrman.com/disease/Other.aspx [drfuhrman.com]
      "If allergies are the problem, have you ever thought why your immune system is so sensitive and reactive to normal environmental substances?
          Patients often state, “I struggled for years with pain and fatigue, until I finally found out fibromyalgia was my problem.” Does giving it a name establish a cause? Of course not. If you give the problem a name, patients may feel a little relieved that they now know what is wrong, but it usually does not help or solve their condition. The accuracy of the diagnosis is not as important when compared to the accuracy and effectiveness of the therapeutic recommendations for the problem.
          On a practical level, the name of a disease doesn’t even matter that much. It is uncovering the cause of the disease that matters. When most of the causes are uncovered and removed, the body can manifest a recovery, all by itself. Most people are not taught, and they fail to realize that the vast majority of diseases occur because they are earned. They are earned by the causes of disease that stress their body to the point where their genetic weaknesses have a chance to be expressed."

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @11:41AM (#44050417)

    How much is this costing Ecuador and how long are they willing to host Assange?

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss

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