Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ecuador's relations with Britain are strained by Wikileaks case

QUITO - Ecuador said on Wednesday that the British government had threatened to raid its embassy in London if Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was not handed over, and that Quito would make its decision on his asylum request on Thursday.

We are not a British colony," Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said in an angry statement.

Former computer hacker Assange, who enraged Washington in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website published secret U.S. diplomatic cables, is wanted in Sweden to face trial for rape.

Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June 19. The Australian anti-secrecy campaigner says he fears he could be bundled to the United States where his life would be at risk.
Read the rest here.

This is bogus as a three dollar bill. Assange is just trying to duck a criminal investigation into charges of rape. Ecuador should be politely informed that they either hand the fugitive over or their diplomats should pack their bags and be out of the country within 72hrs. Either way the matter is resolved satisfactorily.


Michael said...

I just saw this on RT:

"The UK will do everything in its power to block Assange’s passage to Ecuador despite being granted asylum by the nation’s government, officials said, claiming a legal obligation to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to Sweden.
UK authorities sparked a scandal when they announced they were prepared to raid the Ecuadorian embassy in London in order to apprehend Assange, effectively revoking the embassy’s diplomatic immunity.

"In response, the Ecuadorian National Assembly President Fernando Cordero called an emergency meeting to assess 'unusual and arrogant threat to pave our embassy in London.'"

This is what Iran did in 1979. I think it is impossibly precious of the US/UK to criticize Iran and prepare to go to war with it, when it is acting in the same way itself.

I don't have any sympathy for Assange, as I consider him to be a self-important grandstander. However, this is being used as a precedent to repudiate recognized norms of civilized conduct.

Just like the crazy antics of two "underpants bombers" have been used as the master excuse to sexually molest every airline traveler in North America, so the exploits of an unsympathetic character like Assange are being used as the master excuse to rip up the Treaty of Westphalia.

We need to call this kind of manipulation what it is, and stop being suckers for it.

Anthony said...

In addition to the points Michael makes, which I largely agree with, I would ask: John, do you know the details of the "rape" allegation? The whole thing sounds trumped up to me.

William Tighe said...

IIRC, it was not an allegation of "rape" as sane people understand it; rather, during an act of mutually "consensual" sex his condom slipped off, and evidently his failure to "cease and desist" at that very instant counts as "rape" in Swedish law.

William Tighe said...

Perhaps I was mistaken in my comment above, cf.:

Anthony said...

I was under the same impression as Dr. Tighe regarding the facts of the case. Looks like it may be more serious than we thought.