Monday 20 August 2012

Is Julian Assange just a criminal on the run or a hero?

Is Julian Assange a hero or a rapist trying to avoid justice

By Dark Politricks

After the much awaited speech given from the balcony of the very unluxurious Ecuadorian embassy by Julian Assange the other day the whole world is debating the question - "Is Julian Assange a hero or a rapist trying to avoid justice".

The text of the speech in full is at the bottom of the page but it has led commentators all around the world to denounce Julian Assange as just a sex offender trying to avoid justice whilst totally ignoring the rest of the relevant pieces surrounding his case.

Quotes about the speech:
"what was much more serious - the elephant in the room, so to speak - was Assange's wilful failure to say anything about the actual reason that the Swedish police want to question him." - Andy McSmith - The Independent.
"Odious Julian Assange loved every second of his pompous balcony rant. His speech was long on egotistical claptrap, but oddly failed to mention what this extradition case is actually about — the rape of one woman and sexual molestation of another." - The Sun
"Not since the Argentines invaded the Falklands has Britain had its tail so humiliatingly tweaked by a Latin American dictatorship. Suddenly, Ecuador is on the lips of people who previously would have struggled to find it on a map. All this merry mayhem is, of course, being orchestrated by Assange, who continues to play the British governing class for suckers." - Melanie Phillips - Daily Mail
"He's not going anywhere"' Metropolitan police officer.

In fact you would be hard pressed to find many mainstream media commentators giving a good word to Julian who is facing sexual assault charges - charges that the Ecuadorian President said the other day do not even exist on his countries law books - like many others.

Charges that relate to two WikiLeak "groupies" who had sex with Assange on consecutive nights and allowed him to have sex without a condom. They may have protested about that last bit once they found out about each other but not before and it seems a strange law to charge someone on in the first place. If we were arresting every man in the world who didn't like wearing a condom when having sex there would be very few men left.

However it seems these constitute crimes in Sweden and many people ask why Julian doesn't just go and face his accusers.

The answer is simple.

He is very, very afraid that the Swedes will pass him along to the the American's who are literally frothing at the mouth at the damage he has done to their national security. First by realising tapes of their pilots cheering as they massacred a crowd of reporters and men without guns in Iraq and then the WikiLeaks release of the #Cablegate stash of US embassy emails which have made many a Middle Eastern nation look like two faced liars who say one thing in public and another to their neighbours in private.

More worryingly for Assange is the way that the presumed source of the information a Private Bradley Manning has been treated by the US military. He has been stripped naked, held in a cell for many months without anything to do and basically treated in the most horrible way possible - some even claim this constitutes torture.

He is now facing a charge of possible death or life imprisonment (if prosecutors keep their word)  for communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and aiding the enemy. His chances do not look good.

Therefore as the UK does not extradite to countries where there is  the possibility of the death penalty and a multitude of US commentators and government employees have stated that he deserves two in the head. It is no wonder Julian is afraid of going to Sweden as he honestly believes it is a ruse to get him sent to the USA.

As no charges have actually been laid out against Assange and the Swedish police only want to "question him" it seems far fetched that in this day and age a compromise could not be made out which allowed for this questioning.

Over a hundred years ago there was this amazing invention called the telephone that allowed people at far distance from each other to communicate by voice.

In the last twenty years we have had Skype, Video Conferencing, Messenger and other tools that would allow for a full face to face interview that could be recorded, analysed and allow the Swedish police to ask their questions without any expensive plane travel.

But why should Julian Assange get special treatment you might ask.

Well he shouldn't and the the same rules should apply to all European citizens.

The European Arrest Warrant is a joke that allows Brits to be dragged from their beds and sent of to Eastern European jails on the say so of a Polish or Greek police commander.

Just like the unfair and unbalanced UK to USA extradition treaty. Which can see British people carted off to spend long time in orange jumpsuits without any evidence being examined in a UK court first as a US citizen has the right to before extradition here. Both of these extradition treaties should be abolished ASAP.

Therefore I don't say that Julian is just trying to avoid spurious charges that only emerged after each woman found out about the other but I say that he is blatantly scared shitless of being sent to the USA.

Also as I predicted in my last article the whole of South America is now standing in unison behind Ecuador after the British threat to storm their embassy which has only increased tension with a region that we are already having difficulty with.

From the  BBC news website.
The Union of South American Nations said it backed Ecuador after Mr Assange publicly thanked it and other South American countries for their support.

A document agreed at the Union of South American Nations meeting said it supported the country "in the face of the threat" to its London embassy.

.. in the context of the UK's perceived heavy-handed approach to the recent question of Argentina's renewed claim over the Falkland Islands - the British government's reputation in South America was undoubtedly being affected by this stand-off.

As I predicted - the fact that a country with a far from clean human rights history is making supposed western liberal and free countries look like despotic dangers to world civility is a stain on our own moral standing across the world. Plus it has swelled the chest of Latin and South America to extreme proportions.

If the Brits storm the embassy they will look like criminals in the eyes of many countries - fairly or not and if they let Julian hop onto a plane to Ecuador they will look like sops in the eyes of the USA and a million Daily Mail readers eyes.

The best thing would be to come to a compromise as suggested by Ecuador's President Rafael Correa who suggested Mr Assange could co-operate with Sweden but only if assurances were given that there would be no extradition to a third country. Any breaking of such an agreement would make the USA look like the "great Satan" Iran always claims they are and it would allow Julian to fulfill his obligations to face Swedish police questions and possible charges.

Whatever happens it looks like a farce from both sides of the argument.

Here is the full text of Julian Assange's speech:

I am here today because I cannot be there with you today, but thank you for coming. Thank you for your resolve, your generosity and spirit.

On Wednesday night, after a threat was sent to this embassy, and police descended on this building, you came out in the middle of the night to watch over it, and you brought the world’s eyes with you.

Inside the embassy, after dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up into the building through the internal fire escape. But I knew that there would be witnesses and that is because of you.

If the UK did not throw away the Vienna Conventions the other night, it is because the world was watching and the world was watching because you were watching.

The next time somebody tells you that it is pointless to defend those rights we hold dear, remind them of your vigil in the dark before the embassy of Ecuador. Remind them how in the morning the sun came up on a different world, and a courageous Latin American nation took a stand for justice.

And so, to those brave people, I thank President Correa for the courage he has shown in considering and in granting me political asylum. And I also thank the government, and the particular Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, who have upheld the Ecuadorian Constitution and its notion of universal citizenship in their consideration of my asylum

And to the Ecuadorian people for supporting and defending this Constitution. And I also have a debt of gratitude to the staff of the embassy, whose families live in London, and who have been showing me hospitality and kindness despite the threats we’ve all received.

This Friday there will be an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers of Latin America in Washington, DC, to address this very situation. And so I am grateful to those people and governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela and to all other Latin American countries who have come out to defend the right to asylum.

To the people of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia, who have supported me in strength, even when their governments have not. And to those wiser heads in government who are still fighting for justice. Your day will come.

To the staff, supporters and sources of WikiLeaks, whose courage and commitment and loyalty has seen no equal.

To my family and to my children, who have been denied their father. Forgive me. We will be reunited soon.

As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression, and the health of our societies. We must use this moment to articulate the choice that is before the government of the United States of America.

Will it return to and reaffirm the revolutionary values it was founded on? Or will it lurch off the precipice, dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world, in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark?

I say it must turn back.

I ask President Obama to do the right thing.

The United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks.

The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation.

The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters.

The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.

There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organization, be it WikiLeaks or be it the New York Times.

The US administration’s war on whistleblowers must end.

Thomas Drake, and William Binney, and John Kiriakou and the other heroic US whistleblowers must — they must be pardoned and compensated for the hardships they’ve endured as servants of the public record.

And the Army Private who remains in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, who was found by the United Nations to have endured months of torturous detention in Quantico, Virginia, and who has yet — after two years in prison — to see a trial—He must be released. Bradley Manning must be released. If Bradley Manning did as he accused, he is a hero and an example to all of us and one of the world’s foremost political prisoners. Bradley Manning must be released.

On Wednesday, Bradley Manning spent his 815th day of detention without trial. The legal maximum is 120 days.

On Thursday, my friend, Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Human Rights Center, was sentenced to 3 years for a tweet.

On Friday, a Russian band [Pussy Riot] was sentenced to 2 years in jail for a political performance.

There is unity in the oppression.

There must be absolute unity and determination in the response.

Thank you.

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