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Ecuador Grants Asylum To Julian Assange 923

Several readers have submitted news that as expected, Ecuador is formally accepting Julian Assange's request for political asylum. paulmac84 writes "The Guardian are live blogging the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister's announcement that Ecuador is to grant asylum to Julian Assange. In the announcement Minister Patino said, 'We can state that there is a risk that he will be persecuted politically... We trust the UK will offer the necessary guarantees so that both governments can act adequately and properly respect international rights and the right of asylum. We also trust the excellent relationship the two countries have will continue.' The Guardian also carries a translated copy of the letter the UK sent to Ecuador regarding the threat to 'storm' the Ecuadorian embassy." Also at Reuters.
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Ecuador Grants Asylum To Julian Assange

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  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:23AM (#41009571)

    The UK has stated it will storm the embassy by force, violating the Vienna Conventions. Equador has shown remarkable courage, doing something many in the international community doubted it could: It has stood up to tyranny. It has stated it will now bow under the threat of terrorism. It does not negotiate with terrorists.

    Your move, Britain.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:32AM (#41009683)

    How much do they pay you, shameless shill?

    It's true that Ecuador isn't one of the most democratic countries on the planet. But still nowhere near USA's level of hypocrisy and plain disrespect for anything but the almighty buck.

  • by canadiannomad ( 1745008 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:32AM (#41009687) Homepage

    What scares me most is the willingness the world seems to have to allow first the violation of Assange's human rights, then to threaten the 10+ international treaties (acts of hostility against a friendly nation) that the world has in place to protect people from such a situation. In the end we are left looking to a third world country, with a somewhat poor record itself, for those rights that should be universal. Australia should be ashamed of itself that he has to resort to Ecuador and not his home nation.

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:34AM (#41009729) Homepage

    He also said that the UK threatened to "storm" the embassy in its letter. Have you seen the letter? It says nothing of the sort.

    We know how to storm embassies. We have entire special forces teams who had experience of doing just that. It does *not* involve stating an obscure UK law and saying you are "disappointed" in quite a polite, but stern, letter.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:36AM (#41009747)

    "The UK didn't say it was going to "storm" Ecuador's embassy. (The origin of that claim? None other than Ecuador.) What the UK said is that Ecuador's embassy may be stripped of its diplomatic status [] (a move which would have serious diplomatic fallout), and police may arrest Assange."

    Diplomacy meets Politics at its finest: A thinly veiled threat to skirt the rules using a technicality.

    "People who think this is "good news" for Assange and/or Ecuador and/or the world at large are certainly showing their true colors: not only a disregard and lack of respect for freedom (including that of speech), but a celebration of anything that attacks the US and the West -- institutions which, for all their many imperfections, actually promote ideals of freedom and liberal democracy. Indeed, as Steven Aftergood, veteran crusader against excessive US government secrecy and director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy: "WikiLeaks must be counted among the enemies of open society because it does not respect the rule of law nor does it honor the rights of individuals.""

    Pull up your trousers, your own "true colours" are showing.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:37AM (#41009753) Journal

    You question Ecuador's record on human rights. Well, how about the US and the UK and for that matter Sweden? The US routinely tortures civilians with no right to process or a legal representative. And that is just the most blatant example.

    The UK has a very long history of violent repression and total disregard for human rights. The only reason it has improved is because its power to abuse has been greatly reduced.

    Sweden has shown itself to be a puppet state in the last ten years.

    Nobody claims Ecuador is a saint but in the fight against evil you sometimes have to make strange bed fellows.

    And good job quoting a guy working for a rightwing think tank. This was funded by the people who made the atom bomb. I want their opinion on human rights?

    Willfull slaves such as you quake in their boots at the idea of anyone daring to rebel. You do not believe in the system that represents the status quo, you just are desperately afraid of any change whatsoever. You rather continue to be raped up the ass then risk any change because it might cause just the tiniest upset and then all hell will break lose.

    Wikileaks was the only response possible in a world where western governments from administration to adminstration have sought to keep ever more hidden from fact in the name of national security. That this was a complete and utter lie is simply proven to anyone who isn't a sniffeling coward like the parent poster, NOT A FUCKING THING HAPPENED after the wikileaks. All that happened is that it became clear how much we had been lied to and how many of the rumors were true. People lost faces but no bases were attacked, no wars were lost. Just the powerful ended up with eggs on their faces.

    And that frighens little dave shroeder, Wikileaks upset his world view. He believed Bush was protecting little dave and not at in it for himself. Poor dave is upset. Wikileaks must be shutdown so dave can put his head under the blanket again.

    Well, fuck that.

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:37AM (#41009761) Homepage

    "world seems to have to allow first the violation of Assange's human rights,"

    Care to elaborate? Are you saying the UK justice system is a patsy for the UK government and every judge and juror was knobbled?

    And what about the human rights or the women in sweden who may (or may not) have been raped. Assange may (or may not) have done it but this isn't the sort of thing decided in the court of public opinion my friend. THIS is why the law exists. If you dont' like that tough , but don't pretend Assange is making some grand jesture against "The Man". He's not. He's saving his own arse and the fact that he's willing to give live in a fleepit 3rd world country to get away from justice tells me all I need to know about how he sees his guilt.

  • by DeathToBill ( 601486 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:40AM (#41009799) Journal

    Hi right not to be questioned over sexual assault? Hmmm. Which democracy are you from? I'm fine with my governments (Australian living in the UK) handing him over.

  • by Alkonaut ( 604183 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:40AM (#41009803)
    Source of this? Same source as "UK threatens to storm Ecuadors embassy"? These are two statements allegedly by the US and Sweden respectively, but confirmed by neither. Until they are, I'd disregard both. Completely.
  • by stiggle ( 649614 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:41AM (#41009823)

    They offered for Swedish investigators to come to the embassy and interview Assange there - they refused.

  • by Dudibob ( 1556875 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:43AM (#41009859)
    To say I am ashamed of the actions the the Government to even threaten the Ecuador embassy with stripping it of its diplomatic status. For the alleged crimes Assange has committed this action is way way way over the top and obvious for all to see.
  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:47AM (#41009925) Homepage

    That's an issue for Sweden and/or the EU. They've previously refused too (and the UK still gave Assange three appeals to the highest courts and still he failed to provide legal basis to have the extradition quashed).

    He's wanted in Britain for breach of bail, and to comply with EU laws on extradition that the UK are bound by. That's what he is being arrested for, not anything that actually may have happened in Sweden. If we just wanted to give him to Sweden, we'd have done so MONTHS ago when he turned up to a UK police station to answer exactly that charge.

    And now, after every appeal possible, if his extradition to Sweden were unlawful, he wouldn't have needed to breach bail, we wouldn't have been able to send him there at all. Under UK/EU law, we are now obliged to hand him to Sweden, even if that means revoking the status of an embassy (which is pretty serious but totally legal).

    As it was, the UK police sent the original extradition forms back THREE TIMES because the Swedish authorities failed to dot the i's and cross the t's properly.

    The UK have no interest in him. He's just a pain in the arse at the moment and we tried our best to protect him (hell, he'd be in Sweden already if any other country had handled him). Now he's causing an international incident when he still has ZERO chance of leaving the building without being arrested. There is no law, statute or convention that protects him in there, under asylum or not (he has NOT been granted UK asylum, and cannot leave the building to be taken anywhere else that might recognise asylum for him).

    All he's done is made the news - again - after breaching US, Swedish and (now) UK law. Until the time he skipped bail, the UK had no axe to grind (and if it did, it could have done a lot worse than it has done so far, all legitimately). Now he's going to be arrested no matter what, but he's playing to the cameras and trying to fabricate an incident where there is none.

    The UK *MUST* extradite him or their laws mean nothing. The laws on embassies mean we *CAN* legally revoke embassy status from the building itself. Even the Vienna convention says we can just expel all the diplomats (so long as we don't harm them, etc.) "at any time, and for any reason". If we *MUST* extradite him, by law, and the only way to do that legally is to temporarily dissolve an embassy or expel diplomats, then that's what we have to do. One law is no greater than any other until a conflict exists. There is no conflict, hence there's only one legal path that can (and MUST) be followed. And all legal paths end up with Assange arrested and facing LONGER terms in prison no matter where he ends up or what charges may stick elsewhere. He deliberately and knowingly breached UK bail and will have to stand up in court for that at some point, no matter what.

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:48AM (#41009939) Homepage

    "That is the human rights violation"

    No it isn't. No country should make deals with a criminal to get him to face justice.

    "Assange is being very reasonable,"

    Funny how only a 3rd world dictatorship sees it that way.

  • by pointyhat ( 2649443 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:48AM (#41009943)

    Well actually no. It proves that we will break international extradition and asylum treaties on a political whim...

    Assange said he'd willingly go to Sweden to face charges if they guaranteed it wasn't a ploy to extradite him to the US. They could not guarantee that which is why he's seeking asylum. He's not trying to escape the allegations.

    I think the guy is an asshat generally, but he's right on this one.

  • by bayankaran ( 446245 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:48AM (#41009959) Homepage

    Having sex in Sweden can get complicated

    Yes, but the moral of the story is "mistakes destroy you, whether Assange or United States of America."

    Generally we wonder "how can such an evil (corporation | government | politician | dictator) survive". They survive and do well only until they make a mistake. Being evil and survival has no connection. Luckily the evil are prone to make the world more or less works.

    Assange made a mistake...he should have controlled his emotions. If he is innocent he might have fallen for a honey trap - a classic n00b mistake. If he is not innocent he made a bloody epic mistake.

  • by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:49AM (#41009967)

    Well if it pisses off governments that aren't working the way they're supposed to work, then it can't be that bad what he's done.

    In my book he's a hero. As a private person he might be an a**hole, but that doesn't change the service he's done the public (which is the more important thing anyway).

  • by toddmbloom ( 1625689 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:51AM (#41010021)
    Assange is a champion of his own massive ego.. and that's all.

    Seriously, why everyone fawns over the douchebag is beyond me.
  • by pointyhat ( 2649443 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:52AM (#41010033)

    They aren't making deals. He's trying to get a fair unbiased trial for one **allegation** which he has not been charged for.

    I'd rather go t oa 3rd world dictatorship than face this 1st world tyranny...

  • by kunyo ( 863739 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:52AM (#41010039)
    i think it is quite clear to anyone with an IQ higher than 75 that this is equivalent to "we are going to storm your f**** embassy if you don't surrender Assange to us"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:53AM (#41010051)

    Here's someone the UK would not extradite: []

    I guess their laws mean nothing.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:53AM (#41010063) Journal

    If anyone wants to question Assange, they know exactly where he is. Drop by and ask some questions, or give him a phone call. That they haven't done this is proof that they are not really interested in asking questions, but getting Assange into custody.

  • by jkflying ( 2190798 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:59AM (#41010201)

    Never mind thrown in jail... extradited from another country for a) not using a condom and b) waking up a woman to have sex with her.

    Considering the UK won't hand over Dewani to the South Africans for ORGANISING A HITMAN TO MURDER HIS WIFE, I think the double standards can only point to political interference.

  • by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:01AM (#41010225)

    He's saving his own arse and the fact that he's willing to give live in a fleepit 3rd world country to get away from justice tells me all I need to know about how he sees his guilt.

    The UK isn't trying to send Assange to Sweden to be tried for rape, the UK is trying to send Assange to Sweden so he can be sent on to the US for torture and/or a death sentence. The UK will not send this man to his death directly but they will send him via Sweden so they can pretend they didn't know what was going to happen.

    He may or may not have commited rape and if he did he deserves to be locked up for it, but that's not what's going to happen in any case. If he ends up in Sweden he will be deported to the US and face some kind of milatory trial, tourture, and death.

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:01AM (#41010227) Homepage

    "I think I speak for the majority of Brits"

    You don't.

    Personally, the UK have done EVERYTHING they legally could have for Assange, down to challenging the extradition to the highest courts in the land, offering him bail, and he's given precisely NOTHING back. Now he's forced them into a legal corner where they can either BREACH the EU laws on extradition or not.

    The only sensible option ("not") means that , without ambassadorial co-operation, they have to LEGALLY revoke the embassy's/ambassador's status (nothing wrong in UK law or the Vienna convention in that) in order to get to a criminal that the embassy is harbouring (embassies are supposed to abide by the laws of the host country). That's the only option left to them that lets them stay true to their own (and EU, and international) laws that are cast in stone.

    Assange is just playing the media. The UK can give the ambassador seven day's notice and then just send a police officer in to calmly arrest Assange anyway and there's nothing the embassy can do about it (Assange is NOT covered by any of the laws involving diplomats or embassies personally). Assange won't be coming out without handcuffs and could, if pressed, find himself in a building that's no longer, legally, an embassy, with nobody else in it to protect him, and no way to escape arrest within the month. That's about the longest he could push it out for. Chances are, this time next week, he'll be before a court explaining why he skipped bail, and then serving a CAST-IRON, GUARANTEED, LEGITIMATE, UNAPPEALABLE prison sentence when he gets out of wherever he ends up.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:03AM (#41010259)

    1) Where did the UK state that? (i.e. you HAVEN'T read the letter, which was published in the same newspaper linked to above - there is no mention of storming or even entering ANYTHING, ANYWHERE in the entire letter).

    That would be the last story [] slashdot posted on this... 12 hours ago, and it was based on a BBC story [] mentioning the letter, and to quote directly from the Foreign Minister of Equador: "Today we received from the United Kingdom an express threat, in writing, that they might storm our embassy in London if we don't hand over Julian Assange," he said."

    2) It doesn't violate the Vienna convention to dissolve the embassy or even expel all the diplomatic staff. Go read it. It's quite clear that the UK can do that "at any time, and for any reason". Assange isn't covered by that, no matter what.

    It violates article 9 of the Vienna convention, a treaty signed by the UK which supercecedes national law. That's the very definition of a treaty. The US has stated it has withdrawn from the Vienna convention, which is why it considers itself able to commit forced extradition of other countries citizens without any need to explain or justify itself. It has taken the diplomatic position of "We have more guns. Go ahead and try and stop us, but some piece of paper means nothing to us."

    Rather than take Assange out of the embassy, they have threatened (indirectly and politely) to take the embassy away from Assange. Which is perfectly legitimate.

    Yes, well, I see you have your life and liberty. I can't take away your liberty, so I'll just threaten to take your life -- indirectly and politely. It's perfectly legitimate because although it ends the exact same way, I can now say I never threatened to take away your liberty... your dead corpse will still have it. My internet logic is unbeatable!

    Legitimacy isn't defined as what you can get away with; It's sticking to what you said before. And the UK signed the treaty, and the treaty is very explicit about this, in no uncertain terms, beyond any internet-troll logic: Once asylum is granted, the other country can't do anything to that person. Not while they're at the embassy. Not while they're in a vehicle leaving the embassy under the embassies protection. Not while they're at the airport getting out of the car. Not once they're in the air. Not anything. Anywhere. At anytime. For any reason. Period. End. Of. Discussion.

    To quote directly from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations [], source from the website of the organization responsible for its creation and oversight, the UN, Article 22, Item 1: The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission, as wll as Article 29, The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention.

    You'll note it says person of a diplomatic agent; which refers to anyone under the protection of that embassy. It does not require approval of the host country, and does not restrict in any way that diplomatic envoy's right to designate any person as being under their protection, at any time, for any reason.

  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:03AM (#41010265) Homepage

    First off, in what way is he a criminal.

    The rape allegations are just that, and even the stated facts by claimants pretty much do not equate to rape.

    Oh, he exposed illicit facts, and behaviors of corrupt government agencies. THat's not a crime. That should be public knowledge.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:05AM (#41010291) Homepage Journal
    You don't exactly have to read between the lines.

    From the letter:

    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.
    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.

    An FO spokeswoman, responding to the charges that the letter implies Britain intends to "storm" the embassy:

    We have consistently made our position clear in our discussions with the government of Ecuador. The UK has a legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of sexual offences and we remain determined to fulfil this obligation.

    We have an obligation to extradite Mr Assange and it is only right that we give Ecuador the full picture.

    I'm sorry, but what exactly is the above supposed to imply other than that Britain is making a serious threat to storm the embassy, if other options don't pan out?

    I'm staggered, blown away, by the number of people here who think it doesn't mean that on the basis that the word "storm" isn't in the threat. It's right there, directly, there's no reading between the lines necessary: "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."

  • by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:09AM (#41010357)

    "That is the human rights violation"

    No it isn't. No country should make deals with a criminal to get him to face justice.

    If his suspected crime is rape he should expect to only be tried for rape.

    What Sweden is attempting here isn't bringing a suspected criminal to justice, it's bringing a suspected criminal to a place where he will be abducted, tortured, and likely killed by a third party country that has no stake in the crime he is accused of.

  • by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:11AM (#41010393)

    If I were wanted for extradition to go on trial for rape and I was confident that I would not receive a fair trial, you can bet your ass I wouldn't go.

    He won't receive a rape trail at all, nevermind a fair one.

    The rape charges will be dismissed and he will be sent on to the US for a mock trial, torture, and a death sentence.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:17AM (#41010513)

    Let me guess, you don't like my use of the word Terrorist with regard to your favorite country, because if the UK extradites to Sweden, Sweden extradites to the US, and of course the US would never ask their close ally, the UK, to commit an act of terrorism, since they're so big on the whole War On Terrorism.

    Except that's exactly what this is. The very definition of terrorism is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes", and that's exactly what the UK has done when it threatened to 'storm the embassy' in order to gain political advantage.

    Stop modding me down for saying what is literally and precisely what has happened. You might not like the verbiage, but it's the plain facts of the case -- it was a terroristic threat, and Equador courageously said "No." And that's remarkable precisely because it wasn't a threat made by some backwater country who's primary natural resource is dirt, and most of their citizens live in grass huts. This was made by a country with nuclear weapons, a standing force of hundreds of thousands, and could easily wipe Equador off the face of the Earth. They said "No," to that. They're risking everything to stand up for their principles.

    They deserve to be commended, and I refuse to be silenced for standing up and applauding their resistance to bow to terroristic threats. Now go ahead, mod me to oblivion. And bravo Equador.

  • by darjen ( 879890 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:21AM (#41010599)

    This is the root of the issue. The United States government wants him for exposing their dirty, corrupt secrets. They will try everything they can to get him while making it look like it was legally done by the book, all while making HIM look like a criminal to the easily manipulated public. Whatever charges they come up with in the meantime are incidental to the government's cause.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:27AM (#41010697)

    Then let me stand up and join you. I'm an American. I'm sorry my country has used back room deals to convince your country to make a terroristic threat because it was too cowardly to make. Everyone can plainly see at this point Sweden and the UK both caved to US demands to fabricate excuses and crimes to get this man back here -- all because he embarassed us politically, showing the world our true colors in the war on terror. I, too, am ashamed of my governments actions.

    I hope you will not think any less of America's citizens because of the actions of the American government.

  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:29AM (#41010721)
    Do you honestly think that is what this whole thing is really about? Please. How many other allegations of "sure I wanted to sleep with him, but I didn't want to go all the way" are actually pursued through Interpol and extradition treaties each year? This is an empirical question.
  • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:35AM (#41010811) Journal
    everyone is entitled to their opinion, but failing to disclose being an operative for one of the parties will certainly impact others' opinion of your trustworthiness when that connection comes to light. It's fairly common for people involved to comment around here, but it is customary to throw a little Disclaimer at the end or beginning of the post so it won't look like you were trying to hide something when someone makes the connection.
  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:35AM (#41010817)

    It's not his opinion, he works in information warfare aka he's a paid troll. It's not about disagreeing with his position it's about the fact that we once again have an official propaganda office which is targeting American citizens.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:36AM (#41010841)

    "The UK have no interest in him."

    We have no interest in him yet we're willing to make the totally unprecedented move that defies all international convention and precedence on the issue of embassies of revoking the Ecuadorian right to an embassy in our country?

    You're right about one thing though, he's not our problem, but if he's not our problem, why are we going to the level of creating a diplomatic shit-storm that undoes every bit of good-will towards the UK from the international community that the likes of the royal wedding and the olympics have built up? Why are we willing to have our embassies shut down across the globe in retaliation by Ecuador and it's allies over someone who is not our problem? Why don't we just let Ecuador fly him to Ecuador and let Sweden/Ecuador sort it out through their own channels?

    "The UK *MUST* extradite him or their laws mean nothing."

    No we mustn't, historical precedence, and international convention says that political asylum takes precedence. How can we possibly preach to countries like Iran over things such as holding British sailors or US citizens prisoner if we do this sort of thing? At that point we've lost the moral high ground on this and many similar issues and no one should or will listen to us ever again on them.

    "The laws on embassies mean we *CAN* legally revoke embassy status from the building itself."

    That's what government claims. No one else seems to be convinced. Even if we can the cost of doing so is so massive there has to be a question of why, unless the government is seeing absolutely massive pressure/threats from elsewhere - i.e. the US government. The cost of doing this is so large relative to just letting Assange go to Ecuardor that it makes no sense without some other massive external factor (i.e. the US).

    "Even the Vienna convention says we can just expel all the diplomats (so long as we don't harm them, etc.) "at any time, and for any reason"."

    Yes, but the actual process of expelling a diplomat means you have to give them chance to pack up and go, and again, the cost of doing so is so mind bogglingly large for Britain's reputation that it doesn't make any sense to do this.

    You're using the word "must" an awful lot where you should actually have typed "in my opinion should" because there is no real grounding for your claim of must.

    "He deliberately and knowingly breached UK bail and will have to stand up in court for that at some point, no matter what."

    Again, this is rather forceful language - "no matter what"? are you sure about that? are you sure that he wont manage to get to Ecuador and 30 years down the line when global geopolitics have changed and anything Assange has done wrong is forgotten the charges are dropped? It's not like this sort of thing hasn't happened across the globe many hundreds of times before in geopolitics.

    Unless you can tell the future and know something the rest of us don't you should stick to stating things as opinion rather than demanding that what you say is the absolute truth and nothing else could possibly be the case, as that just makes you look like some zealous preacher, you may think it somehow adds strength to your argument, but it really doesn't, it just makes you look like an unobjective wingnut.

  • Pinochet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paugq ( 443696 ) <pgquiles.elpauer@org> on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:43AM (#41010957) Homepage

    Pinochet: well-known and repeatedly convicted dictator. UK verdict: let go free []

    Assange: not even charged, more than doubtful testimonies, a "crime" which does not even exist outside Sweden (sex without condom!). UK verdict: all kinds of threaten and proposal to violate Vienna Convention

    Way to go UK, way to go.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:48AM (#41011039)

    What Sweden is attempting here isn't bringing a suspected criminal to justice, it's bringing a suspected criminal to a place where he will be abducted, tortured, and likely killed by a third party country that has no stake in the crime he is accused of.

    No, Sweden is attempting to investigate a crime against some of its own citizens, which it has a legal obligation to do.

    Sweden also has a legal extradition agreement with the US, which has the force of law in both countries. The Swedes a legal obligation to extradite people charged with crimes in the US to the US if the US files a valid request. If they refuse to honor such requests, then the US will be under no obligation to extradition wanted criminals to Sweden if the Swedes file a valid request.

    So there's a bigger picture here that Slashdotters perennially ignore. This is about more than just Assange. This is about whether the Swedes want the US and other countries to obey extradition treaty requirements in the future should the Swedes ever want to invoke extradition. You don't just toss things like that national treaties away for somebody like Julian Assange.

    Also, you have zero evidence that the US will have Assange "abducted, tortured, and likely killed." Bradley Manning is getting a trial. If Julian Assange ended up in the US, he'd get a trial too. It's questionable whether they could convict him, as the DoJ has had extreme difficulty mounting a case. If they could, they'd have already filed an extradition request with the Brits and the Swedes already.

  • by jeremyp ( 130771 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:55AM (#41011167) Homepage Journal

    First off, in what way is he a criminal.

    He's broken the conditions of his bail.

    The rape allegations are just that, and even the stated facts by claimants pretty much do not equate to rape.

    Isn't that for the court in Sweden to decide? By the way, a British judge has already ruled that the allegations, if true, would constitute rape under English law. That is why the UK is trying to extradite him.

    Oh, he exposed illicit facts, and behaviors of corrupt government agencies. THat's not a crime. That should be public knowledge.

    If it is not a crime, why is Assange so nervous about the possibility of the US asking Sweden to extradite him? Sweden would just turn around and say "no, it's not a crime, go away USA".

  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:57AM (#41011193) Homepage
    A shill implies they are posting something simply in exchange for money. I doubt very much that criticizing Ecuador and Assange on slashdot is part of his job; far more likely this is what he believes, and he picked a job that conforms with those beliefs.

    If someone from wikileaks posted a defense of Assange here, neither you nor anyone else would accuse them of being a shill; they would be praised, modded up, thanked, etc..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:57AM (#41011203)

    Just remember, as you're advocating the revocation of diplomatic status for an embassy due to harbouring someone wanted by the host country: this means Britain's stance would would require them to hand-over (or advocate such) any Chinese (or North Korean) dissidents who "escape" to a "free" country's embassies (as has happened sporadically in the past). It would also, from a moral perspective force them to become de facto advocates for the same treatment of any other citizen from any despotic nation who is seeking to escape persecution by finding asylum in a foreign embassy. Furthermore, it would almost CERTAINLY reduce the safety and security of (at least) Britain's embassies around the world especially those located in countries that are sympathetic to Ecuador and/or just don't like Great Britain.

    I would also suggest that, from a global perspective, Britain realizes significantly more benefit from a STRONG application of the Vienna treaty and having it weakened by their own precedent would incur a far greater penalty upon themselves than would be warranted by ensuring that some schmuck potentially gets slapped with a community-service punishment...

    Oh, and your argument that EU law REQUIRES them to violate an embassy in order to apprehend a wanted person flies in the face of a hundred-years of diplomatic convention. If they had Assange in their possession, yes, the EU law would require them to hand him over. But as things stand, he's in Ecuador's possession, and so the UK is no more required to "go and get him" than France, or Germany are... If they were truly neutral in this matter they'd just (diplomatically) shrug their shoulders at Sweden and say, "sorry, he's in Ecuador now, guess you should call them..."

    Lastly, by your logic/morality, the Canadian Embassy in 1979, should have turned the Americans that they were secretly sheltering from the Ayatollah, back over to the Iranian authorities...


  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:59AM (#41011243)

    It seems odd that the UK would put that much effort into hunting down a bail jumper. Particularly a bail jumper who isn't wanted on UK charges. And why is Sweden so adamant that he be returned, sending demands to the UK, if he's only wanted for a minor crime and is likely to not even be charged?

    Assange seems to be a bit of a jerk, but there also seems to be something fishy going on. A lot of resources are being spent to get Assange into a position where he can be extradited to the US. And the US doesn't have a particularly good track record at the moment for fair trials, due process and human rights where foreigners they don't like are concerned.

  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Thursday August 16, 2012 @11:07AM (#41011361)

    1. It sounds like you're not familiar with what Navy Information Warfare Officers do. Hint: this community was previously called Cryptology Officers.

    2. I'm not on anyone's clock. (To be clear: I am not being paid or given any consideration, by anyone, for posting on slashdot or anywhere else on the internet, nor have I ever.)

    So yes, it's not only an ad hominem, it's a particularly ridiculous one. Most places welcome someone with background and experience who take the time to source their posts participating in a discussion. Can you point to anything inaccurate in my post?

    Yet it will be ACs and people whose identities aren't known praising Assange and Ecuador who will receive the most positive attention here. Those with opposing views will be shouted down, or, in this case, be accused of being paid government shills.

  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @11:10AM (#41011395) Journal

    It might not be "scandalous", but your take on "respect for the rule of law" is pretty funny. You might want to check with your employer on that.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @11:15AM (#41011461) Journal

    The disinformation lies not in the falsehood, but the lack of relevance.

    Also, Ecuador's free speech record is highly relevant:

    Nothing you say following this colon shows any sort of relevance of Ecuador's free speech record. The only thing that matters is that the West is persecuting Assange and Ecuador is not. If you were Assange, who would you choose?

    Nothing about seeking asylum in a country can be reasonably construed as an endorsement of that country.

    Second, why are Western governments "persecuting" Assange (ignoring for a moment that if ANY Western government wanted Assange out of the picture, he would have been dead long ago) to whatever extent they are? Could it be that in free and open societies governed by the rule of law we don't allow individuals to unilaterally decide, on their own, what secrets of their own governments should be released? Intelligence operations and diplomatic work demand secrecy even in free societies. We allow for that as a people.

    Ah, so you admit that this is prosecution is politically motivated. Good. I'm glad we can agree on that much.

    do you really believe Correa and Assange are some kind of kindred spirits?

    No I don't. Do you believe that the US and Saudi Arabia are some kind of kindred spirits? By your argument, the US is as smeared by its association with Saudi Arabia as Assange is by association with Ecuador.

    Does our alliance with Saudi Arabia "absolutely smear" the US? If not, how can you say the same about Assange?

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @11:27AM (#41011629)

    yup, in short, its called 'the smell test'.

    this does not pass the smell test.

    it seems rather fishy to me.

    (ok, have at the obvious joke in my wording....)

    but seriously, international incident over something that is NOT rape, by most of the worlds' standards?

    interpol called because of a sex scandal?

    no, this does not pass the smell test. its bullshit and we all know this. we were not all born yesterday.

  • by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @11:31AM (#41011713)

    He embarrassed the US by exposing various wrongs.

    It's not a logical fail to think the US would go to great lengths to get hold of this man just to send a clear message to the next person who might think of doing the same.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @11:32AM (#41011729)

    There is no law, statute or convention that protects him in there, under asylum or not (he has NOT been granted UK asylum, and cannot leave the building to be taken anywhere else that might recognise asylum for him).

    Article 29 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations states otherwise. In one sentence. No exceptions.

    The UK *MUST* extradite him or their laws mean nothing.

    No, the UK doesn't have to do anything. They're a sovereign power. And they're a sovereign power that signed a treaty stating that embassies hosted within their borders are involate, as is any person under their protection. And that treaty also stipulates that while they can expel the envoy, and all persons under their protection, they still can't touch them. Treaties supercede both UK law and EU law; that's the very definition of a treaty.

    And for the record, there's no "temporary" dissolution of the embassy. Equador made their choice, they said the UK is wrong. If the UK resorts to military action, they're not setting up an embassy again -- they just wiped their ass with a treaty they signed, and it doesn't just affect Equador, but every treaty signee, who now has to consider that the UK has shown it will resort to violence to get what it wants out of the embassies. Many embassies will close in the UK, especially those without militaries of equal size. They'll be held as oath-breakers -- they won't be trusted for a long time with keeping their word on anything negotiated diplomatically. It might mean the UK can't do prisoner exchanges anymore with other countries, or get its own citizens out of a bind in those countries. The UK will have to resort to violence then to solve every one of its diplomatic problems, since their word is now worth nothing.

    This is no longer about Assage; the UK has become militant, committed an act of terrorism, and is a threat to the national security of over a hundred countries. And if it doesn't back down, the damage will be severe, swift, and irreparable. As a citizen of the UK who supports this action, you need to be asking yourself how much extra taxation you're willing to bear for increased military expenditures, and how comfortable you are with the UKs more aggressive stance. And you might want to cancel any travel arrangements you have to... just about anywhere outside your country. If you run afoul of any laws while abroad, you might not have an embassy to help you sort it out. In fact, in some places, you may be arrested and held as a prisoner of war to be used as a bargaining chip to get their own citizens released from UK jails.

    This is the price to be paid when you walk this path.

  • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @12:03PM (#41012205) Journal
    How did we get to a place where states like Russia, Venezuela, and Ecuador are â" explicitly or implicitly â" thought to be more "free" by ANY measure than the US, UK, and Sweden?

    by pursuing whistleblowers as spies instead of prosecuting the crimes exposed by the whistleblowers
  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @12:26PM (#41012555)

    I'm staggered, blown away, by the number of people here who think it doesn't mean that on the basis that the word "storm" isn't in the threat

    People are like that; Once they take a position, they won't change it no matter the facts. Outside the sciences, I've never heard the phrase, "I hadn't considered that. I guess I was wrong." Right now, troops could be massing outside the embassy and these same people would be sticking their fingers in their ears and chanting "I can't heeeeear you! Glory, glory, hallelujah!" Right up until the exact moment where what they are denying it's actually happening, and it can no longer be denied, they'll maintain their position. Then they'll change their tune; "It's justified," or, "It wasn't that bad." And finally, when the costs are tabulated, when everyone is tired of suffering, and they're miserable, and beyond even being angry and simply just want it to end... they might admit that it's all the other guy's fault for making them do it.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @01:30PM (#41013417)

    A âoediplomatic agentâ is the head of the mission or a member of the diplomatic staff of the mission;

    person of a diplomatic agent. Big difference. That's anyone the diplomatic staff says is under their protection. One use for this is couriers. Let's say a local courier service is contracted to deliver, say, a new passport for one of its citizens that had one lost or stolen. Such a person can be designated ad hoc and without the approval of the host country, and gains the protections of the Vienna Convention while the package is delivered. The country's police can't legally detain or arrest the courier. Same with any other diplomatic package. Without this ability, embassies couldn't conduct routine business in the host country.

    Article 9 states that the host country does have the right to expel a diplomatic envoy, or any member thereof, but they have the right to vacate "within a reasonable period of time" and cannot be arrested or detained in so doing. Article 9 is basically a leasing agreement: it can be revoked, but that doesn't mean the landlord gets to keep the people or property that are part of the diplomatic envoy.

    If your position was tenable, then the moment war broke out, or during war, or during any conflict whatsoever, no embassies could be left in the other country because of the risk of violence or attack by that country... which makes the entire point of an embassy go away: A way of maintaining diplomatic relations. There's plenty of history of embassies being attacked and bombed by the host country... and it's always been condemned internationally as a violation of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations -- and the countries that do that tend to not have very many embassies or diplomatic relations with other countries after that. Countries that have broken the Convention aren't trusted, and have to resort to military force to address any of the problems that would have otherwise been resolved diplomatically.

    The Conventions benefit everyone -- it allows things to be resolved peacefully. When you violate the treaty, or (in the case of the US) withdraw from it, you are sending a clear signal to the international community that you are a militant state who prefers to solve all of its problems with violence. I hope Britain has the cash to support a much larger standing army than it does now... and I do wonder how they'll avoid the problems of resorting to military force all the time -- Another country that likes to do this, the United States, is bankrupting itself and all measures of quality of life for its citizens are falling because of its lack of restraint in diplomatic matters. Will Britain's citizens tolerate the destruction of its middle class as complicitly as the US has? If you're a UK citizen who supports this unilateral action, you should open your wallet right now and ask yourself if you can do with less. It's your choice, but take it from a US citizen -- it costs more than you think.

  • Pure BS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @01:31PM (#41013427)

    The UK *MUST* extradite him or their laws mean nothing.

    You have got to be freaking kidding. Every empire is based on stinking, murderous hipocrisy - and useful idiots.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @01:42PM (#41013597) Journal

    The irony, I suppose — irony being a common thread here — is that all the leaked cables showed is that the US has a thoughtful and dedicated foreign service. Unless, of course, you're one of those people who hates the US and believes that they revealed some dark and sinister secrets by taking a handful of cables out-of-context out of hundreds of thousands and using them to invent some kind of imagined scandal.

    Pray tell, how can you take supplying underage sexual slaves [] to Afghan warlords "out of context"?

    (yes, I do realize that it's not the US government - it is, however, a company hired by said government and paid by it, and no-one was prosecuted for this)

  • by jkflying ( 2190798 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:24PM (#41014229)

    The Ecuadorans, and Assange's lawyer, have offered the Swedish prosecutors the opportunity to interview Assange inside of the Ecuadoran embassy. The Swedish turned down the offer, despite the fact that they have used this method to interview possible criminals in other cases (a Serb murderer, IIRC).

    Odd that, it's almost like they don't actually care about the 'rape' allegations and just want to get him to Sweden... which is what Assange has been worrying about the entire time.

  • by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @07:59PM (#41018557)

    Indeed the situation is ironic. The US, the UK, and Sweden have successfully reduced their credibility BELOW that of a nation with documented human rights abuses. That's pretty sad.

    The UK said, effectively, "we can walk in and take him if we want." Whether or not the process of doing that could be characterized as "storming the embassy" depends entirely on how many weapons and jackbooted thugs are involved in that process. Using the phrase before said thugs have appeared certainly qualified as hyperbole. Since it's no longer possible to have a political discussion anywhere in the world without hyperbole, I discounted the phrase. The meaning of the UK government was clear and the phrase is relevant, even if its connotations are excessive.

    You are welcome to your opinion. It is contrary to the opinion of the majority. This is not groupthink, and your use of the word is intentionally pejorative. "Consensus" is the word you are looking for. Your post deserves -1 because your opinions and posts range from intentionally obtuse to obviously false to blatantly anti-freedom. You are an autocrat who advocates secret indictments, secret trials, secret courts, and the rule of a state over all things and in all ways, with no possibility of error or adjustment. This makes you 1) Unamerican; 2) Dangerous to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; 3) Worthy of -1.

    I can't speak to the UK or Sweden, but the US can no longer lay claim to being a democracy. Not even a representative democracy. SOPA/PIPA are the most explicit proof of that. The bills were proposed in Congress. The Congressional switchboard was jammed, for an entire day. The outpouring of negative feedback from the populace at large was probably the greatest it has been for any specific bill presented in the past decade. Six months later, provisions of those bills are now back in new bills before Congress, in direct and explicit contradiction to the will of the people. Nor can that will be characterized as the tyranny of the majority. The bills remove rights and freedoms from the majority in favor of a tiny monied minority. The bills are the very definition of the tyranny of the minority, and Congress is not in any way behaving in a democratic fashion. I leave aside the policies of torture, Guantanamo Bay, secret torture facilities run by the CIA in Eastern Europe, and assorted other atrocities and unamerican habits the US government indulges in.

    There are reasons why such countries as Ecuador, Venezuela, and Russia are mentioned on an equal footing with the US. The US has declined. Severely. It's now publicly visible for the whole world to see just how far that decline has proceeded. And now that it has been demonstrated that the autocrats in power can and will proceed to take away further freedom, against the will of the people, and for the sole purpose of making money for a tiny minority, it's reasonable to say the Grand Experiment has failed. The shining beacon of freedom the US once was is so badly tarnished that an oppressive little once-and-future dictatorship can make the US look bad, and it has been explicitly demonstrated the system can not be corrected by peaceful protest.

    I weep for what was and I blame you and your kind for its loss.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal