Julian Assange is free... ish. Still "hiding".

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Have you heard the news young folks?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39979343

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/19/sweden-drops-julian-assange-rape-investigation/

https://www.theguardian.com/media/live/2017/may/19/julian-assange-rape-inquiry-dropped-live

So the rape investigation against the Wikileaks founder has been dropped by the Swedish courts. What does this mean not for his temporary stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy and... and everything else. What's your thoughts on this and do you agree with those who say this man is a hero or an enemy of... who is he the enemy of again?

Good news, but I'd still stay in the embassy, even moreso than ever considering the Trump administration is looking into getting a warrant for his arrest.

British police could fabricate a bogus charge against him any day and then extradite him, caution is advisable for him.

He was always "free" to go and have his day in court.

That he compares this voluntary exile with detention is cowardly.

He has still broken British law through breaching his bail conditions. Given the huge cost of maintaining a police presence at the embassy, I'd imagine a judge would be inclined to be as harsh as possible.

Sonmi:
British police could fabricate a bogus charge against him any day and then extradite him, caution is advisable for him.

I'm pretty sure that espionage is a completely legit charge. And that there are a whole host of charges related to it he could be done for.

Even if the UK didn't have extradition agreements with the US, all it takes is finding a couple of British files that had been released under his watch, and you can bring him in.

If you can't tell, I dislike Wikileaks. It is the internet equivalent of a tabloid, eager to spill information with little processing or thought regarding the consequences. The Snowden files could have been done in a far less antagonistic way, jeopardising far fewer actual people whose lives were at risk. Subsequent releases have included things like information on paternity test results, which is of little public interest, one would have hoped.

Wait, rape? He was running from rape charges? I am not up to date on Assange.

Saelune:
Wait, rape? He was running from rape charges? I am not up to date on Assange.

Err yeah. UK wanted to send him to Sweden, he instead ran and hid.

Parasondox:

Saelune:
Wait, rape? He was running from rape charges? I am not up to date on Assange.

Err yeah. UK wanted to send him to Sweden, he instead ran and hid.

To be fair to Assange, he stated he was perfectly fine with talking to the Swedish police as long as Sweden gave him a guarantee they wouldn't extradite him to the United States. They refused, and thus he stayed in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Listening to NPR earlier, I'd heard that the Swedes had 'discontinued' the investigation, not 'dropped' it. Not familiar with Swedish law, but based on what I was hearing, it was discontinued because the prosecutorial process couldn't continue with Assange holed up in the embassy, which makes it sound like if he ever does come out, they may resume the prosecution.

altnameJag:
He was always "free" to go and have his day in court.

That he compares this voluntary exile with detention is cowardly.

It wasn't just him. European defence counsellors were pushing that house arrest is still incarceration. With even less privileges otherwise awarded to domestic criminality in the UK. I would have stayed in the embassy as well. There were zero guarantees that he'd end up staying in the UK or Sweden. None of the prosecutors or the courts were even guaranteeing him freedom from cruel and unusual punishment ... and yeah... being extradited to the U.S. and being murdered by the state for simply releasing classified information or hacking a network is cruel and unusual punishment.

When you have zero guarantees of a fair and just legal system, as far as I can care you owe the said system nothing but contempt. Any other response is, as you say, cowardly. It is disgraceful how the Australian government refused to assist an Australian citizen in legal limbo like this.

That is true cowardice. Back when we had a spine we were willing to jeopardise international relations simply to see justice done. Hicks, for example. This was a guy who knowingly abetted a terrorist organization... but we at least stood up and said Guantanamo Bay without fair trial was an abomination of liberal values... and we brought him back to Australia rather than let him be tortured by the U.S. government. Sorry 'enhanced interrogated'... with a wet pillow over his head to simulate the mental shock of drowning.

Family fun for all the Feds.

That was a near terrorist. An actual terrorist. Not merely a fucking hacker. Since when did liberal values become subservient to the inconsistency of applied ethics?

Only some of the charges were dropped. The most serious charge, that of rape, does not meet its statutory limitation until 2020.

And, as said earlier, he can also still be prosecuted for skipping bail. This is not as newsworthy as it first seems.

Saelune:
Wait, rape? He was running from rape charges? I am not up to date on Assange.

The facts are not totally clear, but the charges themselves were always somewhat flimsy. The only reason they were prosecuted in the first place was because of Assange's notoriety in the international community, and as a pretext to get him into a country from which he could be extradited back to the US.

I'm not judging whether he's guilty or not. There aren't enough facts, and Assange has lost all credibility in my eyes either way.

I'm not sure if I trust Assange after what Wikileaks had done during the US election. I find it hard to believe that Wikileaks has the manpower to sift through hundreds of thousands of e-mails and to strategically release them just when Trump's popularity seems to be dropping. Also they could have released the e-mails during the primaries, but they chose instead to wait for the general election, which makes their real motives really suspicious.

That being said, what the powers that be have done to him was also an obvious witch hunt. His freedom would be a victory for the free press regardless of whether he's a truth seeking journalist or a foreign agent, since there's no real evidence for the latter. And trusting the same people who lead the witch hunt against him would be kind of stupid.

I always thought that the UK would be far more likely to extradite somebody to the USA, rather than Sweden. We've got a really one sided extradition treaty with America.

Saelune:
Wait, rape? He was running from rape charges? I am not up to date on Assange.

Julian Assange was accused by two Swedish women for having sexually assaulted both and raped one of them, at different times, during his talks tour in Sweden in 2010.

Jux:
Listening to NPR earlier, I'd heard that the Swedes had 'discontinued' the investigation, not 'dropped' it. Not familiar with Swedish law, but based on what I was hearing, it was discontinued because the prosecutorial process couldn't continue with Assange holed up in the embassy, which makes it sound like if he ever does come out, they may resume the prosecution.

Yup. The investigation could, theoretically, be resumed again if Assange ended up in a position where he could be properly questioned by Swedish police. Since he refuses to leave the embassy and the British police now has "first dibs" on him for breaching his bail conditions, that's unlikely to happen and the prosecutor has decided to not proceed with the investigation anymore.

Adam Jensen:
That being said, what the powers that be have done to him was also an obvious witch hunt. His freedom would be a victory for the free press regardless of whether he's a truth seeking journalist or a foreign agent, since there's no real evidence for the latter. And trusting the same people who lead the witch hunt against him would be kind of stupid.

Julian Assange was almost certainly co-operating with Russia in 2016. He may or may not have even been aware of it; his ability to control the organisation is limited so long as he's effectively under house arrest. But he's certainly comfortable with the idea of accepting Putin's support when it's offered and of coming to Putin's defence when it's needed. He even criticised the 2016 Panama leaks in an oddly hypocritical tweet.

Assange gets a lot of attention over here because he's an Aussie. Originally, my opinion was that his organisation and its goals were noble enough. When he got arrested, I took the thinness of the rape charges to indicate that it was a politically motivated prosecution.

Then he started doing a show on Russia Today, and then he started directly targeting Clinton while remaining quiet about Trump, and then he started actively defending Russia's interference in the election, and then Trump got elected. You ask me? Assange just went stir-crazy. Ever since 2012, he's been locked in a few rooms in the Ecuadorian embassy, isolated from the rest of the world, constantly afraid that Clinton will try and have him drawn and quartered or something. It's clearly affected his judgment to the point where he can give Putin a free pass - and even speak in his defence! - for the same kinds of shady shit that Wikileaks is supposed to be shedding light upon.

I'm in favour of thorough government transparency. I think it's the only way one can reliably trust the implementation of big-government policies. But I can't understand why people seem to think that it's more important to force transparency on Western liberal democratic societies than it is to force it on a guy like Putin, who has turned Russia into a kingdom of thieves and beggars.

Sonmi:
Good news, but I'd still stay in the embassy, even moreso than ever considering the Trump administration is looking into getting a warrant for his arrest.

British police could fabricate a bogus charge against him any day and then extradite him, caution is advisable for him.

They are? I don't expect Trump or anyone in his administration to act rationally but Assange has quite openly supported him in the last election.

PsychedelicDiamond:

Sonmi:
Good news, but I'd still stay in the embassy, even moreso than ever considering the Trump administration is looking into getting a warrant for his arrest.

British police could fabricate a bogus charge against him any day and then extradite him, caution is advisable for him.

They are? I don't expect Trump or anyone in his administration to act rationally but Assange has quite openly supported him in the last election.

Assange hampered Clinton, but did not necessarily "support" Trump.

If you read about his world view, you'll see that he's not really in favour of the US, at all, be they Republicans or Democrats, he's an anarchist more than anything.

And yeah, Pompeo and Trump want him hanged since he released classified CIA (or was it FBI) information detailing the ways the agency used technology to potentially spy on their citizens.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

altnameJag:
He was always "free" to go and have his day in court.

That he compares this voluntary exile with detention is cowardly.

It wasn't just him. European defence counsellors were pushing that house arrest is still incarceration. With even less privileges otherwise awarded to domestic criminality in the UK. I would have stayed in the embassy as well. There were zero guarantees that he'd end up staying in the UK or Sweden. None of the prosecutors or the courts were even guaranteeing him freedom from cruel and unusual punishment ... and yeah... being extradited to the U.S. and being murdered by the state for simply releasing classified information or hacking a network is cruel and unusual punishment.

He was under house arrest because he was fighting the extradition order. After he lost that, he went into voluntary exile. I don't give a slightest shit about whether or not Sweden would've extradited him at that point, but it's still massively disingenuous for him to claim he was being detained without charge for five years. Everything about that statement is a lie.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
That is true cowardice. Back when we had a spine we were willing to jeopardise international relations simply to see justice done. Hicks, for example. This was a guy who knowingly abetted a terrorist organization... but we at least stood up and said Guantanamo Bay without fair trial was an abomination of liberal values... and we brought him back to Australia rather than let him be tortured by the U.S. government. Sorry 'enhanced interrogated'... with a wet pillow over his head to simulate the mental shock of drowning.

Hey? Was he not left in Gitmo to be tortured by the US for several years, while the UK got their citizens back earlier because the UK made a fuss when Australia would not?

bastardofmelbourne:
Assange gets a lot of attention over here because he's an Aussie. Originally, my opinion was that his organisation and its goals were noble enough. When he got arrested, I took the thinness of the rape charges to indicate that it was a politically motivated prosecution.

Not really.

What is alleged to have happened, assuming it is accurate (which can only be established in court) would be rape under Swedish law and indeed under most progressive legal systems. It's pretty clear cut.

One of the basic rights we have in a democratic society is the right to access justice. If someone believes a crime has been committed against them they are within their rights to go to the police and seek prosecution. The alleged criminal does not get to unilaterally decide their innocence by questioning the motivations of their accuser, that's the role of a court.

bastardofmelbourne:
I'm in favour of thorough government transparency.

Sure..

I'm not in favour of exposing the personal information of people in sensitive positions who may be placed in personal risk as a result. That, to me, crosses a line between transparency and blatant irresponsibility.

It's easy to dismiss this as the US government being mad because they were called out on all the bad shit they were doing, but there is more to it than that.

evilthecat:
The alleged rapist does not get to unilaterally decide their innocence by questioning the motivations of their accuser, that's the role of a court.

In before someone attempts to dispute this or tries to allege it's proof of systemic misandry.

OT: Fuck Julian Assange. The opportunistic little weasel has made clear that whatever cause he professes he will always put himself first.

evilthecat:
If someone believes a crime has been committed against them they are within their rights to go to the police and seek prosecution. The alleged criminal does not get to unilaterally decide their innocence by questioning the motivations of their accuser, that's the role of a court.

I don't have a lot of knowledge on the case, but can't Assange claim Judicial disqualification due to him being wanted by powerful bodies that can impact how just the ruling is?

bastardofmelbourne:

Julian Assange was almost certainly co-operating with Russia in 2016. He may or may not have even been aware of it; his ability to control the organisation is limited so long as he's effectively under house arrest. But he's certainly comfortable with the idea of accepting Putin's support when it's offered and of coming to Putin's defence when it's needed. He even criticised the 2016 Panama leaks in an oddly hypocritical tweet.

Assange gets a lot of attention over here because he's an Aussie. Originally, my opinion was that his organisation and its goals were noble enough. When he got arrested, I took the thinness of the rape charges to indicate that it was a politically motivated prosecution.

Then he started doing a show on Russia Today, and then he started directly targeting Clinton while remaining quiet about Trump, and then he started actively defending Russia's interference in the election, and then Trump got elected. You ask me? Assange just went stir-crazy. Ever since 2012, he's been locked in a few rooms in the Ecuadorian embassy, isolated from the rest of the world, constantly afraid that Clinton will try and have him drawn and quartered or something. It's clearly affected his judgment to the point where he can give Putin a free pass - and even speak in his defence! - for the same kinds of shady shit that Wikileaks is supposed to be shedding light upon.

I'm in favour of thorough government transparency. I think it's the only way one can reliably trust the implementation of big-government policies. But I can't understand why people seem to think that it's more important to force transparency on Western liberal democratic societies than it is to force it on a guy like Putin, who has turned Russia into a kingdom of thieves and beggars.

I read somewhere that most cases of leaks in the Russian government is readily available in Russian websites and don't show up in the west due to it being in Russian.

I have mixed feelings on Assange. I have mixed feelings on this. That pretty much sums it up.

Saelune:
Wait, rape? He was running from rape charges? I am not up to date on Assange.

He was accused of rape in Sweden. Whether people these charges are legitimate or not will probably depend on how the person talking about them feels about Assange and his other actions over the years.

Assange has largely avoided facing the charges as he thinks it is an attempt to extradite him to the US where he would face espionage charges. Which, if I am not mistaken, can carry a sentence of Death. This is why he has spent the last several years hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

inu-kun:
I don't have a lot of knowledge on the case, but can't Assange claim Judicial disqualification due to him being wanted by powerful bodies that can impact how just the ruling is?

Yes, if it can be demonstrated that a conflict of interest actually exists. However, if the alleged grounds for judicial disqualification would apply equally to every judge, then that is not appropriate grounds for disqualification. You can't simply allege a general conspiracy against you and thereby render yourself above judgement altogether.

Assange is trash. The sections of the British left who supported him are trash. A definition of civil liberties which stops short of giving access to justice is trash.

evilthecat:

Assange is trash. The sections of the British left who supported him are trash. A definition of civil liberties which stops short of giving access to justice is trash.

One could argue that if Assange was willing to be tried in Sweden if Swedish authorities agreed not to extradite him to the US, but they were not willing to make that promise, then he was not the one making the decision which blocked those legal proceedings.

NB: I'm not a fan of Assange; I'm just saying the above case could quite reasonably be made. The authorities involved treated this with arrogance and ineptitude, and I can see a solid case to say that legal proceedings did not go ahead as a direct result of their actions.

I (clearly) am not up to date or honestly, the most informed about Assange. Honestly, I mix him and Snowden up alot too. What I do know makes me have a negative opinion so far, but still, dont want to lock in any view yet.

The thing is, as long as Trump is President, some things I want to be dealt with I think should wait until someone more competent is in charge. I probably support extraditing Assange to the US...but maybe wait til Trump is gone.

Thaluikhain:

Hey? Was he not left in Gitmo to be tortured by the US for several years, while the UK got their citizens back earlier because the UK made a fuss when Australia would not?

We made a fuss. The difference is that we had that election and there was interference both here and abroad. After 6 years... the difference is elements of the opposition made it part of their campaign pledge. But with Assange, both major party sides of government have now treated him as if persona non-grata without any real cause.

altnameJag:
He was under house arrest because he was fighting the extradition order. After he lost that, he went into voluntary exile. I don't give a slightest shit about whether or not Sweden would've extradited him at that point, but it's still massively disingenuous for him to claim he was being detained without charge for five years. Everything about that statement is a lie.

Assange had said he wouldn't fight the extradition order *if* Sweden could provide guarantees. Sweden does have human rights charter, and is a fully signed and ratified member of both the ICCPR and the ICESCR .... the U.S. isn't.

And frankly that request isn't some outlandish thing, either. Numerous times countries might refuse to transport a prisoner if there is a strong suspicion they face cruel punishment that transgresses their stance on prisoner welfare. Expecting Sweden to say; "U.S. prisons and a possible death sentence for this type of felony is cruel and unusual and in good conscience we can't allow it."

You think he made this decision utterly on his own? He would have had defence counsel advising him to hold out for a better deal than silence. After all... Assange was questioned in Sweden, but never charged or arrested. In the UK he voluntarily faced a Westminster court when Sweden did push for an arrest. A full 7 months after the fact on the basis of an allegation, not a decision by Swedish courts. Assange was granted bail ... and after nearly 2 years of legal hassle in June 2012 the Swedish legal system pushed for criminal hearings and in the same month he sought asylum after the Swedes refused to guarantee him immunity elsewhere. Assange had volunteered twice to questioning and court. Twice. And despite having not been found guilty, merely allegations of a crime, the courts refused to give him a guarantee he wouldn't be extradited to the U.S.

If he did all the right things up until then, working with both legal systems... why do you suppose in the same month the Swedes suddenly pushed for his arrest after making bail do you think he weny into hiding? Was the evidence suddenly 'just that damning'? I mean the Swedes had three chances at swift justice if it was... over a 2 year period. Assange had been co-operative the entire time as the case went on. So much so he wasn't deemed a threat in the UK and released on bail .... merely for allegations of rape.

If the evidence is just that damning, maybe the Swedes could release accurate details of it to the press? So far it just seems like the same allegations only they didn't stand up in Westminster.

That same month when Swedes pushed for extradition after almost 2 years of consistently being questioned, and released on bail, and suddenly this horse being trotted out yet again? With no guarantees to his safety? Fuck that noise... I guarantee you he didn't make this decision on his own. If the Swedes had concrete evidence, why not arrest him while he was still in country? Why not present it to Westminster at trial? Why wait almost two years before pushing it, with no guarantees as to his safety? Whst sort of rape allegation do you know of that waits a full 2 years before any arrest is made?

If the Swedes want justice, actual justice, they should have had no problems back then saying he would be facing a European court on European criminal allegations and time served on that basis of found guilty. Not pretend that he doesn't have a right to ask for asylum for a clear danger to his own security. Other prisoners have been confered protection from U.S. jails and penalties for reasons far worse than online tabloid journalism.

All people deserve swift and fair justice. All people deserve means of claiming asylum from provable threats to life. This doesn't change simply because someone alleges rape and it certainly doesn't change when those allegations are spurious and a country just expects you to surrender your potential right to life and liberty after years of costly legal defence.

Given that Jeff Sessions has made Assange "a priority" and it takes a full 65 days and change to file for extradition, I would stay in that embassy for as long as Metro decides that he needs to be incarcerated anywhere near that length. Until I can guarantee I could board a flight elsewhere before that time has been reached. And yeah, I'd call it exile, too... because our government hasn't said it would refuse extradition, nor made demands of Britain to be released into Australian police custody.

Hyperbole to be sure, but I'm not going to refuse a person to plead their case or make a show of it.

(Update)Keep in mind that the Swedes then admitted that they merely want to 'investigate properly' as according to Ny. This is also garbage. No person should simply be detained without charge simply because the only way to prove their case is apparently because Assange is the only way they can do it. How fucked up is that? So you can be detained without charge, for as long as Swedish courts wants, with but an allegation of wrongdoing ... all wiyhout sufficient evidence or probable cause? So what? Indeterminable detainment within a country until they somehow perjure or incriminate themselves? That sound right to you? That sounds like swift justice? Assange invited investigators to talk to him at the embassy but apparently, and this is their excuse as of two days ago; "Talking is hard when you're not in Sweden..."

Yeah, no. You accuse Assange of being frivolous with the law. If the real issue is they have no real probable cause for detention, then why should a person should still be expected to have to defend themselves *against an allegation* two years after the fact? More over why would you be expected to give up your right of mobility simply because of an *allegation* on the basis that police want to hold you indeterminably, for literally no other reason than they want you to either incriminate or perjure yourself?

Silvanus:
One could argue that if Assange was willing to be tried in Sweden if Swedish authorities agreed not to extradite him to the US, but they were not willing to make that promise, then he was not the one making the decision which blocked those legal proceedings.

Again, though, this is expecting a legal ruling to take place before there has been any court proceeding. Sweden does have a bilateral extradition treaty with the USA. However, Sweden is also an EU member. The ECHR has generally ruled in favour of blocking extradition on the grounds that someone may face the death penalty, so even if his extradition was approved in a Swedish court it could have been appealed in the ECHR had that been a concern. There are a whole host of legal recourse to which Assange would have had access had the US sought his extradition from Sweden. However, expecting assurances of those protections before any kind of court procedure is ridiculous, it's like refusing to attend your own trial unless you can secure a guarantee you will be found innocent.

But let me be honest here. I find it entirely understandable that Julian Assange would not wish to face even the slightest risk of extradition to the US. Even if the death penalty could be averted in such a case, there is a good chance he would spend his life behind bars. Seeking asylum is a perfectly understandable decision, and I'm emphasising understandable to point out specifically that it does not mean admirable.

What pushes this whole sordid thing into pure shitlord territory, not just for Assange but for the people who inexplicably support him despite often otherwise being quite decent human beings, is the utterly despicable treatment of the alleged victims in this case and the abject contempt, shown without exception by everyone even remotely connected to Assange, for their basic human right to access justice for crimes which there is no reason to believe that they have not experienced. I can understand and accept the need for a firm assurance that you will not face the death penalty, or that you will not face torture, but I cannot understand the casual mistreatment and belittling by people who, let's not forget, do actually have considerable degree of media influence and control, towards of people who are so voiceless we do not even know their real names.

That is not justice, it is not justifiable in the context of a wider pursuit of justice. It is not transparency. It is, purely and simply, hypocrisy. It is just the same bullshit abuse of power which liberals who support Assange and Wikileaks claim to be standing against. At the end of the day the fundamental moral I'm getting here, and which I've got for seven years now, is that the left are hypocrites, the European left in particular are more interested in maintaining a chauvinistic sense of moral superiority to the US than any form of introspective critique of the actual bases of social inequality and, above all, never, never trust middle aged white men to care about the civil liberties of anyone but themselves.

I really wish people would stop trying to teach me that moral, because I find it profoundly unsatisfying..

evilthecat:

That is not justice, it is not justifiable in the context of a wider pursuit of justice. It is not transparency. It is, purely and simply, hypocrisy. It is just the same bullshit abuse of power which liberals who support Assange and Wikileaks claim to be standing against. At the end of the day the fundamental moral I'm getting here, and which I've got for seven years now, is that the left are hypocrites, the European left in particular are more interested in maintaining a chauvinistic sense of moral superiority to the US than any form of introspective critique of the actual bases of social inequality and, above all, never, never trust middle aged white men to care about the civil liberties of anyone but themselves.

I really wish people would stop trying to teach me that moral, because I find it profoundly unsatisfying..

He was questioned ... in Sweden. The Swedes had no basis for detainment then. Even now they profess no reason to detain him. They merely want to 'investigate properly' ... he has every right to suggest that no one should be detained without probable cause, and if Ny's best excuse is; "He needs to be in Sweden because he's the only person we can expect to help with our investigation..." You're basically asking a person to incriminate themselves without a guarantee not to, I don't know, not spend 65 days in jail in a country that has an extradition treaty with the U.S on the basis of an allegation of wrongdoing.

A country that has recently avowed (Jeff Sessions) their efforts to capture him.

If he is a rapist, he deserves Swedish justice. But that doesn't come at the cost of asking people to basically have a shot at incriminating themselves while in indeterminable custody. If the best excuse is; "The only evidence we will have is if he fucks up...." then why should anyone be expected not to be angry with that?

I mean what if Assange goes there under that pretext and simply says nothing (as is his right) after they admitted that literally only Assange self-incriminating himself will lend allegations a means of conviction in a court? Why bother at this point? Surely after almost two years of this, and then Swedish authorities themselves saying their case is entirely hinged on Assange's testimony... why exactly can't he get a carte blanche guarantee of no extradition on a crime that is entirely irrelevant?

Surely that's not too much to ask? After all... he was co-operating with both countries RIGHT UP until the same month the Swedes suddenly demanded his arrest... while on bail in the UK. Demanding his arrest on grounds that we now know to be garbage, straight from the horse's mouth no less! I would be scared shitless, too. You accuse people who find this a moral wrong as lacking empathy, but I think that lens applies to yourself no differently.

After all.... it was the same month. Within a week I believe back in 2012. Would you be thinking straight?

Isn't it at all perceivable that desperate people take desperate measures, and no legal system in the world should operate like this?

Let's assume the presumption of innocence (staggeringly hypocritical of a liberal, I know)... Let's say it was you tgat has received the same level of scrutiny while in such a deleterious position of being on the world's greatest superpower's shitlist. Isn't it perceivable that you mught be under the weight of perception that they are about to fuck you over and surrender you to a government antithetical to your continued existence? When they repeatably denied any guarantees against extradition? For an allegation they couldn't arrest you for back in Sweden two years prior, and for an allegation they couldn't make stand in a court?

Might you, then, as a person who knows they're innocent and knows for a fact that Swedish authorities have no real reason to detain you... as the world knows now from Swedish authorities .... after spending two years doing everything you were supposed to... feel like you were going to potentially die or spend the rest of your natural life behind bars for simply leaking classified documents might... I don't know ... claim political asylum?

You're saying that the way this was handled, that thought in a moment of desperation would not occur to you? How about that vaunted empathy you were speaking so much about before?

I mean would you feel the same way if it was another Swede felony like tax evasion? What if the Swedes just basically said; "You can leave because we have no grounds to arrest you... yet... but we reserve the right to yank on your chain whenever we want for whatever reason we want... so let that be a warning to you..."? For a guy so fucking frightened of thr U.S. he seems to have committed a unique felony that guarantees he will stay the set length of time necessary for the U.S. to file extradition paperwork for a crime Swedes would not consider a crime, yet refuses to say that his rights they would afford other Swedes will be protected whether or not he is found guilty of a completely unrelated crime.

Surely something as simple as; "We will not extradite you for publishing electronically leaked materials because that is not a felony in Sweden..." is not some unempathetic response for a country to make? Maybe... just maybe... if they had stuck to their mantra of 'European superiority' he wouldn't be in this mess ... and yeah, that would be a lovely statement about their commitment to human rights being substantially better than the U.S ... and one that all liberals could live with.

After all... for 2 years he was doing the right thing. He was acting responsibly to allegations. Only when that red alert to Interpol hit did he seek asylum, because of course that's what you do when a state has avowed that they might *kill you* for doing something like leaking documents you've been given from your sources. And apparently you're upset that people think this is morally inexcusable! I'm sorry, who are you sccusing of being hypocritical? God knows I'd go into hiding... I'd rather take my chances pissing off the courts than being sent to a U.S. prison cell for the rest of my life, or until my execution, whatever terminates first... for a non-crime that wasn't even committed on their soil or against their property.

That's all the Swedish and the British had to do... guarantee no extradition on a non-crime that wasn't committed on U.S. soil and did not damage their property. Pretty basic, and he would have continued doing the right thing and continued co-operating with authorities.

What is hypocritical is assuming human beings are meant to be sacrificial lambs for the sake of whatever ridiculous notion of what they think justice entails ... and indeed others should be coerced in the game of life, subservient to frivolous and one-sided applications of law that are inimical to any realistic notion of human behaviour. Assange seeking non-extradition and political asylum for real fears is not so much to ask when the worst you can say about him is that he's an *alleged* rapist in a matter utterly irrelevant to what he is asking non-extradition for.

Someone has got to give on this specific issue, and for once it would be nice if the state created a legal precedent for nonsense like this... rather than that sneaking suspicion that they want to keep it as a trump card to dispose of people they don't like.

Last thing I want is if I have information that might discredit yhe U.S. being extradited by proxy, because there was an allegation of me from *yet another country* where I lived that they dug up and said; "And they dealt a prohibited substance... we can't necessarily determine felony volumes and we fined them on the day for misdemeanour possession, but new information may come to light as we take away their passport this time... we need to keep them in country for as long as our questioning them takes to get incriminating details of them dealing felony volumes even if we have no other proof to detain them beyond waiting for them to confess! If that should also contain any complicity in potential extradition to a state that wants them dead for journalism, we'll discuss that when they're in chains. Not before."

That is not justice. Regardless of your warped idea of what it should entail.

It's not Spain in the 1500s.

Assange strikes me as a guy that is as idealistic as he is full of himself. And a one that does like to hold grudges.

Saelune:
I probably support extraditing Assange to the US...but maybe wait til Trump is gone.

But WHY should he be extradited to US? Did he commit a crime on american soil i'm not aware off?
If he is pursued due to the charges of rape that he commited in Sweden, he should face a court and then, if it turns out true, be convicted and sent to a prison. In Sweden.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
I don't know, not spend 65 days in jail in a country that has an extradition treaty with the U.S on the basis of an allegation of wrongdoing.

Being arrested does not necessarily mean you will be detained for the duration of your trial. There is a thing called bail. Assange has been granted it many times.

At this point, it's very unlike he would have gotten bail because there are reasonable grounds to believe he would attempt to evade court proceedings. This, however, would not be a problem for someone who had not attempted to evade arrest for many years by hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy. Being arrested does not automatically constitute a breach of someone's civil liberties even though it may mean detention.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Just because a person is arrested doesn't mean they will be detained until their trial. It is still necessary to arrest them and to make whatever arrangements are necessary to assure they will actually attend their trial.

Because, again, there is an extradition treaty and contesting extradition is a legal process. Asking the Swedish government to decide in your absence that you can't be extradited before a request for extradition has even been made is exactly the same as asking them to decide in advance that you can't be found guilty before you will deign to show up to attend your own trial. It's not how things work, it's expecting special treatment which is not available to the typical person accused of a crime.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
why exactly can't he get a carte blanche guarantee of no extradition on a crime that is entirely irrelevant?

Well, because it is entirely irrelevant. Most of us don't get to decide whether we're okay with facing criminal prosecution or not.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Isn't it at all perceivable that desperate people take desperate measures, and no legal system in the world should operate like this?

Yes. I already acknowledged that the decision to evade arrest was understandable given the risk of extradition, and I'm going to continue to emphasise how little that word means "acceptable" or "admirable".

But no. This is exactly how a legal system should operate. The legal system should not be according some people special or additional rights and liberties because they're Julian fucking Assange and they have feelings too, you know.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Let's assume the presumption of innocence (staggeringly hypocritical of a liberal, I know)...

Presumption of innocence is the legal right of the accused in a criminal trial. I see no criminal trial here, do you?

Addendum_Forthcoming:
For an allegation they couldn't arrest you for back in Sweden two years prior, and for an allegation they couldn't make stand in a court?

Police bail does not indicate guilt or innocence, and there has been no trial so any opinion as to what would or would not stand up in court is trash.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Might you, then, as a person who knows they're innocent and knows for a fact that Swedish authorities have no real reason to detain you... as the world knows now from Swedish authorities .... after spending two years doing everything you were supposed to... feel like you were going to potentially die or spend the rest of your natural life behind bars for simply leaking classified documents might... I don't know ... claim political asylum?

Replace the word "innocent" with "guilty", and the result is the same.

That's why we need a trial to establish guilt or its absence, not amateur psychoanalysis.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
I mean would you feel the same way if it was another Swede felony like tax evasion? What if the Swedes just basically said; "You can leave because we have no grounds to arrest you... yet... but we reserve the right to yank on your chain whenever we want for whatever reason we want... so let that be a warning to you..."?

Yes.

I would doubtless be less angry, because you seem to be missing the bit that has actually made me angry (the thing that is genuinely sickening about this whole case) but this idea that it is not normal for someone to be questioned, released on police bail and then later arrested is, to be totally honest, bizarre.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Surely something as simple as; "We will not extradite you for publishing electronically leaked materials because that is not a felony in Sweden..."

Espionage is a felony in Sweden.

However, espionage also has a history of being treated as a political crime, so it is likely based on precedent that the request would be shut down in a Swedish court, and as mentioned had it not it could also have been appealed in the ECHR if there was any risk of torture or the death penalty. However, none of this can be established before an extradition request has even been made.

More likely, the US would have sought his extradition on more mundane offences, like cyber-crimes or theft, which are also felonies in Sweden.

I would also point out, once again, that publishing the unredacted personal information of people who may, as a result, be harmed or killed in the interests of holding governments to account is not something so unambiguous that it requires moral agreement without question.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
And apparently you're upset that people think this is morally inexcusable!

I'm upset that people think rape (sorry, "bad sexual etiquette") is such a trivial matter that it doesn't even deserve a trial. I'm upset when the basic rhetoric of large section of the left resembles the worst excesses of men's rights activists without a hint of irony or introspection. I'm particularly upset that these are the same people who, at other times, pretend to be allies, and who probably think of themselves as pretty woke people because supporting Julian Assange precludes the need to actually support or care about civil liberties.

It's morally inexcusable when someone uses their wide-reaching media presence and extensive networks of political and media contacts to slander their nameless accusers from the safety of political asylum. If we don't agree on that, then we're kind of done.

Asking me to consider how Julian Assange must feel, or whatever special and exceptional rights he deserves for being such a poor and persecuted multi-millionaire, could not be less fucking relevant to me. Show me one instance, one single tiny instance, in which he or anyone connected to him has given a shred of thought or charity towards the "feelings" of his accusers, then perhaps you'll get some emotional sympathy from me. Until then, why should I be moved, and more importantly.. why should the established legal procedure of several countries be moved specifically to accommodate one person?

Because when we strip out the emotional sympathies here it becomes extremely clear cut. There is a procedure which already exists to protect people from being extradited to face the death penalty or torture. Refusing to abide by that procedure and demanding a whole new procedure be created just for you before you will consent to face criminal proceedings is bullcrap.

evilthecat:

Again, though, this is expecting a legal ruling to take place before there has been any court proceeding. Sweden does have a bilateral extradition treaty with the USA. However, Sweden is also an EU member. The ECHR has generally ruled in favour of blocking extradition on the grounds that someone may face the death penalty, so even if his extradition was approved in a Swedish court it could have been appealed in the ECHR had that been a concern. There are a whole host of legal recourse to which Assange would have had access had the US sought his extradition from Sweden. However, expecting assurances of those protections before any kind of court procedure is ridiculous, it's like refusing to attend your own trial unless you can secure a guarantee you will be found innocent.

Well, not quite-- if he's willing to give up his protection to be tried by a Swedish court, he's presumably willing to be found guilty by them. It's more like refusing to attend his own trial unless he can secure a guarantee he will not face the shoddy American justice system. That's a rather more nuanced position.

evilthecat:

What pushes this whole sordid thing into pure shitlord territory, not just for Assange but for the people who inexplicably support him despite often otherwise being quite decent human beings, is the utterly despicable treatment of the alleged victims in this case and the abject contempt, shown without exception by everyone even remotely connected to Assange, for their basic human right to access justice for crimes which there is no reason to believe that they have not experienced. I can understand and accept the need for a firm assurance that you will not face the death penalty, or that you will not face torture, but I cannot understand the casual mistreatment and belittling by people who, let's not forget, do actually have considerable degree of media influence and control, towards of people who are so voiceless we do not even know their real names.

I wholeheartedly agree that they are not receiving justice, and that they surely deserve justice to be served. I'm contending that culpability rests on both Assange (for his fleeing) and the authorities (the Swedish, for their mismanagement, and the American, for their untrustworthiness).

Silvanus:
Well, not quite-- if he's willing to give up his protection to be tried by a Swedish court, he's presumably willing to be found guilty by them.

Again, Sweden has a bilateral extradition treaty with the United States. The justice systems of Sweden and the US are connected through this treaty, which represents a mutual statement that each is capable of delivering justice to the satisfaction of the other. If a person is not willing to have a Swedish court rule on any hypothetical extradition request without assurances that the court will find in their favour (regardless of all other circumstances), then that is exactly the same as refusing to submit to Swedish law at all. Normally, when someone is accused of a crime, they do not get to dictate terms to the justice system. It is not a normal thing to do and the failure to comply with any terms dictated in this fashion is not in any way exceptional.

If there are concerns about the political character of an extradition request, then those are ultimately a matter for the court. There is an existing procedure in place to handle such concerns, one which has been used and tested many times. I can understand why someone would consider that inadequate given the stakes involved, but that doesn't make it reasonable to demand the entire procedure be overturned to suit you.

evilthecat:

Being arrested does not necessarily mean you will be detained for the duration of your trial. There is a thing called bail. Assange has been granted it many times.

What arrest? That's the thing ... he was never arrested in Sweden. He was questioned. Which is entirely acceptable. The same week he made bail in theUK the Swedish then put an arrest warrant on him, and then admitted *FIVE YEARS LATER* that there was no bounds for being arrested or for the arrest warrant, they just wanted to 'ask further questions'. You don't release a Red Alert through Interpol when you just want to talk to someone.

In fact he invited them to speak at the embassy. When Ny said they 'just wanted to talk', what excuse is there for that? This is shit that Ny has said, and it's documented. At best it's pisspoor handling ... but when it's potentially your life on the line and people want you dead, and no one is telling you that the Swedes will fill in for the usual CIA bag and snatch... then it becomes an entirely different story.

Consider this a white person's privilege of being moderately wealthy.

See, how it (should) work ... liberal hypocrisy of Australia, I know ... is that if the police detain you with a serious felony claim for up to 12 hours. No more than 4 hours of questioning. And if there is not enough evidence, they RELEASE YOU. Only if there is sufficient evidence they then go on to charge you with rape/murder/etc. Of which your magistrate's court appintment will usually be within 48 hours. In order to reduce complainant confabulation, reduce mens rea, decrease 'surprises' in the veracity of complainant claims of wrongdoing that might affect a defendant's case unduly, and all in all it's a fiarly efficient system that needs a serious overhaul but is apparently inbfinitely better than anything in Europe.

Why is it apparently better than anything they have in Europe? Because apparently they just arrest you to 'have a chat', whenever they fucking well want, years later after the complainant and initial detainment first alleged, and yet still refuse to make clear how long detainment may be for or how circumstanceshave changed.

Liberal hypocrisy, I know. See why I tend to put a heavy focus on the importance of swift justice? This shit right here. How can anyone live past the shadow of allegations when they are neither charges nor punishments, merely a choke chain government can yank whenever they damn well please regardless of where the fuck you are in the world?

It's so Kafkaesque it was the exact plot of his last book he never got to finish, and ultimately felt as if the world was better off not knowing and someone else published it for him. That's how Kafkaesque it is.

At this point, it's very unlike he would have gotten bail because there are reasonable grounds to believe he would attempt to evade court proceedings. This, however, would not be a problem for someone who had not attempted to evade arrest for many years by hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy. Being arrested does not automatically constitute a breach of someone's civil liberties even though it may mean detention.

And he received bail for 2 years of working with authorities and being seen as a low public risk. Within that month of receiving bail, Interpol, on zero grounds (provably by Ny's own words) received a red alert status on Assange.

That is fucked up beyond words.

Either tell me what you think he did to deserve that, on what grounds you think he deserved that, on what situations that should have ever occurred, that isn't a huge violation of a person's ability to defend themselves or receive a swift and fair trial? Either that or admit that your argument has no grounds whatsoever and that none of it was conducive to decent ideals of justice.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Just because a person is arrested doesn't mean they will be detained until their trial. It is still necessary to arrest them and to make whatever arrangements are necessary to assure they will actually attend their trial.

I didn't write this. Like at all ...

Yes. I already acknowledged that the decision to evade arrest was understandable given the risk of extradition, and I'm going to continue to emphasise how little that word means "acceptable" or "admirable".

Oh yes, because anywhere in my post did I call it 'admirable' ... I called it empathetic for a person to see this is desperate measures by a person rightfully fearing extradition to the U.S. ... and the pisspoor management of it by the Swedes exacerbated and actively contributed to the situation that you are decrying him for.

But no. This is exactly how a legal system should operate. The legal system should not be according some people special or additional rights and liberties because they're Julian fucking Assange and they have feelings too, you know.

No ... it's not ... as per Ny's own words. As per the words of numerous European defence counsellors.

Presumption of innocence is the legal right of the accused in a criminal trial. I see no criminal trial here, do you?

There was ... he was on bail. Co-operating with law enforcement from Sweden and the UK. In fact that was the primary reason Metro will pick him up on. But it turns out the red alert to Interpol that initiated the political asylum plea to Ecuador was simply because Sweden 'just wanted to talk' ...

Something Assange offered from the embassy, but the Swedish officials denied that because 'it's just not the same if he's not in Sweden' ...

That sounds legit to you? You'd be okay a foreign country you visited that said you were free and clear to exercise yuor means to leave the country, only suddenly contacting Interpol for your immediate arrest and being dragged back to that country 'just to talk'?

That sounds like business as usual? You don't see how that is an abuse of power?

So ... let'say you decided to get dirt on Kenyan CIA black sites and decided to travel out there as a vetted journalist ... you'd be fine if Kenyan officials fabricated a story to drag you back after you published secret footage of tortured souls within? You can't see how this might be a problem? If they turned up solid evidence justifying arrest, then people need to be made whole. Then there needs to be action. But no government on this Earth should just beable to wrench you away simply because you may or may not have said nasty things about them and they're looking for an excuse 'to talk to you'. That is not some mystical 'additional liberties' ... that's common fucking sense. That is a basic safeguard that governments should defend people against and say; 'no'.

We've done it before for other cases.

Police bail does not indicate guilt or innocence, and there has been no trial so any opinion as to what would or would not stand up in court is trash.

Neither does a mystical arrest warrant from Swedish officials if it's 'just to talk', apparently. Arrest and questioning are two different things, I hope you realize.

As an Australian, if Scotland Yard wanted to have words and question me they don't go to Interpol and put out an arrest warrant despite no evidence or probable cause of wrongdoing 2 years after the fact. They don't do that domestically either. The police knock on your door and ask you to come to a station and give a statement or answer questions relating to an incident(s). You know, like healthy attitudes to how police operate in terms of people who are accused of a crime? Like let's say someone accused me of selling drugs. The police might knock on my door ... if they're unconvinced of a wrongdoing, they don't just raid your house 'just to talk' two years later.

You can justify temporary detainment, but after the police have detained you and said that you were cleared for travel ... only to suddenly, without any other grounds, demand your sudden arrest for a crime is an abomination of any ideal of swift justice. You don't detain, question, release, only to suddenlyarrest people out of the blue YEARS down the line and with no further dialogue.

What Sweden did was effectively detain a person for questioning. Which is fine ... if the police expect or suspect someone of wrongdoing, they can pull them aside and talk to them. Not questioning that one bit. They then let him go. Said he was cleared for travel a month later. Then with no other evidence, with no other suspect behaviour, with no other public risk, Swedish authorities put a red alert to Interpol for arrest. Despite having no grouds to detain him any longer that additional questioning (that they could do anywhere with liaison officers), they refused to answer whether he was being detained indefinitely.

After all, he was being arrested. Being momentarily detained and questioned is a world of difference from being arrested. And the excuse they gave is they 'just wanted to have a talk'?

Let me be absolutely, 100% clear .... you are fine with that? Don't think about this as someone you just do not like ... be 100% clear with me that that sounds above board to you. Picture it as happening to a journalist you do like and then answer.

Replace the word "innocent" with "guilty", and the result is the same.

And replace "guilty" with "bailed defendant" who was working with authorities since day 1, and was considered a low public risk. I keep forgetting how courts only bail dangerous people and keep the safe and co-operative defendants in custody.

Moreover, let's replace 'guilty' with "someone cleared for travel out of Sweden and only arrested two years after the fact with no change of circumstances and no dialogue from Swedish officials."

That's why we need a trial to establish guilt or its absence, not amateur psychoanalysis.

Yes, because delving into why people do things is utterly outside law. I keep forgetting common things like evaluating psychological health and assessing things like motives, background history, attenuating circumstances are totally abstract from law...

If law doesn't have intersectionality with common human behaviour, it's no longer law. It's gibberish. We understand laws because we can understand why people do things. And failing to take into account the reasons and impetus behind why people do the things they do, is part and parcel of deciding what is justice as a whole.

I would rank excessive use of police power, failure to manage a professional investigation, and an utter lack of empathy for attenuating circumstances created an injustice. And I'm not going to pretend for a second that running after making bail is respectable, and things need to be made right. But sure as shit I would hope some law enforcement officers and various government officials face that same fate as well. That they have an understanding of making it right. Because how this was handled is beyond any basic decorum or reasonable human behaviour. Particularly if I were to insert myself into the equation and picture myself in the same situation.

I get it... as an oversimplification. I get it. And if there was any real empathy in how the people involved in this acted, people should at least get it as well to avoid it happening again.

Espionage is a felony in Sweden.

Of which he didn't commit. Or do we suddenly arrest White House leakers? How about journalists who aren't embedded, and decide to take the risk to get the 'real story'? Apparently it was utterly fine for Indonesian militia to brutally murder 6 Australian reporters spies ... you know, regardless of the fact that they were reporting directly from the battlefront ... sorry, operating directly with East Timorese rebels for the sake of ... espionage? Yeah, let's go with that.

I mean really? It's not even close to any definition of 'espionage'. Not any English printed legal dictionary I can find. Unless you want to go on a spiel of how Assange is working for a government, or is somehow an ASIS or DSD plant or whatever ... I mean fantastic job if he is, but he doesn't seem that smart and this ploy seems all a bit too convoluted and conspiracy-ish for my tastes. Also terrible at transferring secrets. Either that or wonderful because he'sonly using a fraction to cover over all that hidden information he's giving to [insert foreign government here].

Assange didn't commit any crime on U.S. soil ... he didn't break into a U.S. server to get tht information. He merely released documents his sources gave him. Which uncovered real criminality that was happening in the government. In fact some of the stuff released, no reporters had yet managed to get the 'real story' and might never have generated the necessary level of scrutiny for that to ever be known.

Taking a utilitarian argument, how can one be a moral agent if they do not have the truest opinion they can create with the time and resources they have? Say what you like, a whole lot more people became more moral agents because of it. And that's why journalists have these protections in the first place. Or do we start playing flippant abut the role of journalists reporting things like war crimes, extrajudicial killings, various CIA black sites...? It's not really flippant, is it? Because as I said, no one knew about much of the stuff he released. Either we know or we don't ... either we can be better moral agents, or we can't.

As much as people can say 'he endangered people' ... so what? In the age of decade long occupations, wars and operations that never really end, just eternally simmer ... when does 'endangering people' became a perpetual excuse to simply say nothing? Sometimes people need the shock of something happening now to realize that all else is empty promises of change unless people do something about it.

That's the role of journalism ... otherwise it becomes as sanitized and 'real' as theatre. Calling it espionage? Really? What else should journalists do withinformation that might make or break a politician responsible? What would you do if someone who wanted you to have that information, and to post it, to write about it, even if it may have cost them their liberty or their life already? There's a whole lot of weight on your shoulders ... and heaven help us the day every journalist says 'no'.

But then again maybe states should look at this from how people can be better moral agents. Not merely call releasing documents online 'espionage'. And it's not just my opinion, either ... even the U.S. Justice Department are saying they wouldn't even know where to begin to prosecute a potential case with Assange. I suggest drinking less Jeff Sessions' Kool-Aid. As even officials are skeptical. So either it's a kangaroo court, plea deal, or it's a pardon. But why should anyone accept that toss of the coin?

You call it 'espionage' and it questions everything that came before it like the Pentagon Papers.

It's journalism. Tabloid journalism. Not my words, either. That's the words of key officials at the U.S. Justice Department ... but those officials won't be the ones with the real say in the matter.

More likely, the US would have sought his extradition on more mundane offences, like cyber-crimes or theft, which are also felonies in Sweden.

Of which they have no probable cause ... after all,there's zero indication he committed cyber-crimes in Sweden. Also no evidence he damaged U.S. property to retrieve those documents. They were leaks.

I would also point out, once again, that publishing the unredacted personal information of people who may, as a result, be harmed or killed in the interests of holding governments to account is not something so unambiguous that it requires moral agreement without question.

And pretending like there could be any suitable means of vetting and processing that leaked information through any form of official channels would be suicide for both the source and the potential leaker. More over if this information can be leaked, then what? When does it end? What degree of acceptable risk to an infiltrated CIA torture unit in Kenya? Who exactly do you talk to about that? Why exactly should a non U.S. citizen be held to account for getting foreign agents killed in wars that have nothing to do with them?

If I publish photos of CIA operatives who kidnapped someone in a German airport and tried to smuggle them to Egypt, do I suddenly become answerable to the U.S. government for endangering agents? Because that has happened, and frankly fuck anyone who thinks people shouldn't be plastering their faces, their actions, across every tv screen and computer monitor on the planet.

The grand majority of the stuff that would be 'redacted' and sanitized for public consumption would eliminate much of the culpability and means of dissuading further operations with those key personnel. And at some certain point these people facing increased risks for things like war crimes needs to be talked about otherwise they won't get talked about at all. With public scrutiny, suddenly the information becomes actionable.

It becomes something anyone can take on board and have it influence their decisions in who to vote for, which officials they can trust, etc...

At the very least it means they can't just act with impunity, and at least make sure everything looks above board ... because yes. The CIA have kidnapped European residents and dragged them to places like Egypt to be tortured. That's where it's gotten to. The only answer to that is increased danger for them. Make them famous whenever you can, because nothing else is going to dissuade them from being so brazen with the power they have now.

I'm upset that people think rape (sorry, "bad sexual etiquette") is such a trivial matter that it doesn't even deserve a trial. I'm upset when the basic rhetoric of large section of the left resembles the worst excesses of men's rights activists without a hint of irony or introspection. I'm particularly upset that these are the same people who, at other times, pretend to be allies, and who probably think of themselves as pretty woke people because supporting Julian Assange precludes the need to actually support or care about civil liberties.

It's morally inexcusable when someone uses their wide-reaching media presence and extensive networks of political and media contacts to slander their nameless accusers from the safety of political asylum. If we don't agree on that, then we're kind of done.

Asking me to consider how Julian Assange must feel, or whatever special and exceptional rights he deserves for being such a poor and persecuted middle aged white male multi-millionaire, could not be less fucking relevant to me. Show me one instance, one single tiny instance, in which he or anyone connected to him has given a shred of thought or charity towards the "feelings" of his accusers, then perhaps you'll get some emotional sympathy from me. Until then, why should I be moved, and more importantly.. why should the established legal procedure of several countries be moved specifically to accommodate one person?

Why do I need to do any of this? Where in any of my posts have I even used this argument? I said consider attenuating circumstances. Because that is a sentiment I would offer complete fucking arseholes, guilty or not.

Laws should be shields to protect people, not swords to cut them down where they stand ... and when you have the words of people directly involved in this affair spouting off that Interpol arrest warrants to 'simply talk' and there's no other evidence to justify indeterminable periods of custody or arrest ... yes, even complete fucking arseholes need to have certain protections against police abuse.

Poor or rich.

Sure I will use hyperbole when I say politicians that approve things like weapons sales to Saudi Arabia have actual blood on their hands and they deserve the same fate as those weapons will do to Yemeni civilians, for instance. But I doubt you'd seriously consider I would go to the residences of key proponents with a bloodied axe to make some heads literally roll. I'll settle for something like Iran-Contras scandal where the careers of people where left dead and bloodied ... so long as you got everybody involved of course. No scapegoating.

evilthecat:

Again, Sweden has a bilateral extradition treaty with the United States. The justice systems of Sweden and the US are connected through this treaty, which represents a mutual statement that each is capable of delivering justice to the satisfaction of the other. If a person is not willing to have a Swedish court rule on any hypothetical extradition request without assurances that the court will find in their favour (regardless of all other circumstances), then that is exactly the same as refusing to submit to Swedish law at all. Normally, when someone is accused of a crime, they do not get to dictate terms to the justice system. It is not a normal thing to do and the failure to comply with any terms dictated in this fashion is not in any way exceptional.

If there are concerns about the political character of an extradition request, then those are ultimately a matter for the court. There is an existing procedure in place to handle such concerns, one which has been used and tested many times. I can understand why someone would consider that inadequate given the stakes involved, but that doesn't make it reasonable to demand the entire procedure be overturned to suit you.

I must admit, this pushed me to do a little more reading, and I'm coming around to your perspective-- particularly if such an assurance would be impossible for the Swedish authorities to give, as The New Statesman says.

This does put me in a slightly difficult position, though. I respect the Swedish justice system to an extent, but I do not trust the motives of the American authorities in this. Their track record has lost them that moral standing.

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