KEEP FIGHTING, he says.
He has no choice.
For the last three years, since June 18, 2012, Julian Assange has been detained involuntarily in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London; he entered of his own free will, but that was before the British government stationed police at the building entrances, extra surveillance cameras in the immediate vicinity, and someone installed an audio bugging device in the ambassador’s office. It’s a little awkward for him to leave right now.
According to tracking site GovWaste, all of that has so far added up to £11,409,873 or $18,108,536, yes, eighteen million dollars to keep a man in a converted ladies’ toilet in Knightsbridge for three years. This is as good a time as any to remind all that Assange has yet to be charged with a crime in the UK, the US, or Sweden, the ostensible puppet master in this global farce. Despite this, his legal defence fund (separate from WikiLeaks’ own fundraising, and run by Canadian company Fundrazr) has had a good workout for the last, oh, five years, and will gather no moss for the forseeable future, for reasons we will explain below.
A quick recap: Assange is wanted for questioning regarding potential charges in Sweden relating to sex he had with two different women. Assange agrees that he had sex with the women, but denies the allegations: unlawful coersion, sexual molestation, and minor (lesser-degree) rape. Charges have not yet been laid, and cannot be deferred indefinitely, as the statute of limitations approaches. Nonetheless, Sweden consistently refused to question him in situ, instead demanding that the UK extradite him to Sweden. Earlier this year, they changed their tune and agreed to question him in the UK, as they have done routinely in other cases.
We wonder: Did the prosecutor actually rub her hands together and mutter “Syke!“?
The UK government, who would presumably be happy to be quit of the entire issue, has indicated that, should he leave the embassy he will be arrested for bail-jumping on his extradition hearing back in 2012. Then he would be handed over to Sweden.
Then comes the tricky part.
The potential charges in Sweden are not really what Assange and his supporters are worried about. What they are worried about is the formerly-secret US Grand Jury, which has been investigating the possibility of laying US charges against Assange and WikiLeaks since at least 2011. The Americans are said to have a signed warrant ready and waiting but again, shhh, that’s a secret.
Sweden is, for complicated geopolitical reasons, more likely to hand Assange over to the Americans, should they receive an extradition request, and Chelsea Manning, Barrett Brown, Jeremy Hammond, and every inmate in GITMO can tell him how forgiving the Americans can be when someone inconveniences them.
Meanwhile, work at the embassy continues as normal. WikiLeaks could even be said to be on a roll lately, with a new proprietary secure submission system putting them back in the business that made them famous, and recent releases relating to TPP and TISA trade agreements, documents indicating that in the midst of the humanitarian migrant crisis the EU government planned military attacks against migrant ships, and the bombshell Saudi Cables, as well as fundraising for a $100,000 bounty on the full text of the TPP. That fundraising essentially pushed the US government into defensively leaking significant chunks of the document it’s own damn self.
Currently, the fundraiser is only $25,000 away from its goal.
Life goes on.
* Note this article originally featured an image from LonFoWL on Twitter asserting it was from the protests this year; the image was actually from an anti-austerity protest of 2014. We have replaced it with an accurate image from this year’s protest. Thanks @GreekEmmy for the tip
Categories: Activism, Anonymous, Bureaucracy, Censorship, Court Cases, Cyber, Edward Snowden, Hackers, Julian Assange, News, NSA, Opinion, Prisoners, WikiLeaks
Reblogged this on L8in.
What this article and others leave out is that Assange’s British supporters won’t have anything to do with him anymore. They lost real money, hundreds of thousands of pounds, when he didn’t surrender when his court cases went against him. The cases against him in Sweden are real cases, not made up. The women who are the victims of sexual assault are former supporters who put him up for various nights when he went to Sweden for speeches. He has a history of taking advantage of supporters, skipping out from commitments and being generally untrustworthy. Highly reputable publications tried working with him to publish documents he had obtained but eventually backed away because of his erratic behavior and failure to provided authentic supporting materials for secret .documents he claimed he had.
Facts ARE important: the supporters lost less than a hundred thousand pounds collectively, and since there were so many (nine) and they were generally quite rich, they didn’t really seem to mind. But why take my word for it, here they are in the RT saying so:
I can easily believe Assange is difficult to work with. I cannot believe this is any justification for keeping him locked up in this fashion; it seems more like kicking a man when he’s down.
Also, the Guardian editor is the one who puked up the unredacted files, when WikiLeaks is the organization who had protected them. Highly reputable publication, you know.
you can’t even know if they are victims of sexual assault
Assange is a serial liar, and about important matters too. Like ‘ not being charged’. Of course he is effectively charged. See ‘ Wikiwatch common-misconceptions) Then he steals. He was convicted in a court for breaking and entering. He also steals the good name of ‘cypherpunk’ and ‘revolutionary’.
These may not be hanging offences to you – but what about desertion & treason?
One month AFTER Snowden ( June-July 2013) Assange volunteered to work for Five-Eyes. Search on ” Assange rule from abroad”
JULIAN ” ‘[The military] protects the sovereignty of Australia. It protects the independence of Australia.’ ASSANGE 2013
A criminal on the run with a history of lying & stealing. That’s Julian Rand Paul Assange.
Darling, he’s not charged. He’s wanted for questioning, and then the prosecutor, after arranging the time to question him, flaked and did not show up.
Julian Assange was never a member of the military, therefore he cannot be guilty of desertion.
Julian Assange has not been charged with treason, either, speaking of criminal charges that haven’t been laid against Julian Assange.
Julian Assange’s middle name is Paul. There is no “Rand” in his name. If that’s a joke, it’s seriously one of the lamest I’ve ever heard, and I used to be part-owner of a comedy club.
Darling, Julian Assange’s character, which is the primary vector of attack by his enemies, is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether or not he is being treated fairly by the so-called Justice System. The ENTIRE POINT of the Justice System is that it is supposed to treat people you don’t like the same as it treats people you do like. Whether you like it or not.
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@LonFoWL didn’t assert anything, they tweeted a picture advertising a future event. Also anti-corruption not anti-austerity.
“Note this article originally featured an image from LonFoWL on Twitter asserting it was from the protests this year; the image was actually from an anti-austerity protest of 2014”
Well, they need to get better at their phrasing then.
“London TODAY 5pm: #Assange Solidarity Vigil Ecuadorian Embassy TUBE: Knightsbridge #3Years2Long ” definitely looks like a statement of fact relating to the picture.