Sat Aug 4, 2012, 05:56 PM
struggle4progress (85,511 posts)
As a political game, of course, it is entirely fascinating. Anyone, with any knowledge of the
history of the Americas, will understand why (say) Correa is sympathetic to Assange: the US has for decades run roughshod over its southern neighbors, often with no regard for human needs and rights. So when Assanger pokes a sharp stick in the eye of the US State Department, no one should be surprised that some people will naturally cheer: that natural reaction is, to reuse a famous phrase, "chickens coming home to roost"
Still, the constant bullshit, orchestrated by Assange and his supporters, does us all a real disservice, because it drowns out informed intelligent conversation. It seems to me quite likely that Assange could have cleared up the Swedish matter quickly a few years ago, had he not been so set on proving to everyone that he could get away with being a gigantic asshole
The most harmless telling of this story would be: Assange had unprotected sex with several woman who had consented to protected sex and who thereafter wanted him to undergo some STD testing; he was uncooperative in this regard, and the women took some of their dissatisfactions to the police; while the Swedish authorities were trying to schedule a follow-up interview with him, through his lawyer, he fled to the UK and refused to return to Sweden for the follow-up interview. But once outside Sweden, he made sure to be much in the press sneering about Sweden's "revolutionary feminism" and piously lamenting the tiresomeness of the various women he had recently been schtupping in Sweden -- behavior which, by any adult standard, should be regarded as thoroughly caddish. After several months, the Swedish authorities tired of the charades and took out an international warrant against him. At this point, Assange's surrogates began a full-fledged defamation campaign against the Swedish complainants (one of who alleges behavior considered to be rape in any modern jurisdiction, such as Australia, Sweden, the UK, or the US), claiming without evidence that the women were effectively US agents. Sweden successfully litigated its warrant through the UK courts, including Assange's appeals, and Assange thereupon dropped his appeals, refusing to appeal his case to Strasbourg
"Susan Benn of the Julian Assange Defense Fund" is certainly welcome to persist in her beliefs that the Swedish authorities should interview Assange in the UK, just as the Swedish authorities are welcome to persist in their beliefs that Assange should return to Sweden to be interviewed there; the difference between these views is that the view of the Swedish authorities has prevailed in the UK courts and that the loser, Assange, decided not to appeal his case further, to Strasbourg. All this is therefore irrelevant as res judicata
So, where are we now? The establishment in Ecuador is mocking the sexual crimes allegation, according to The Nation article linked in the prior post: perhaps finally chivalry really is dead. And, once again, we hear the constant claim that the Swedish warrant is a subterfuge, masking a planned US extradition, likely to lead to Assange's torture or death? That seems unlikely because the Swedish courts are constitutionally isolated from political influence, but let us examine what the UK courts said:
"... There was at one stage a suggestion that Mr Assange could be extradited to the USA (possibly to Guantanamo Bay or to execution as a traitor). The only live evidence on the point came from the defence witness Mr Alhem who said it couldn’t happen. In the absence of any evidence that Mr Assange risks torture or execution Mr Robertson was right not to pursue this point in closing. It may be worth adding that I do not know if Sweden has an extradition treaty with the United States of America. There has been no evidence regarding this. I would expect that there is such a treaty. If Mr Assange is surrendered to Sweden and a request is made to Sweden for his extradition to the United States of America, then article 28 of the framework decision applies. In such an event the consent of the Secretary of State in this country will be required, in accordance with section 58 of the Extradition Act 2003, before Sweden can order Mr Assange’s extradition to a third State. The Secretary of State is required to give notice to Mr Assange unless it is impracticable to do so. Mr Assange would have the protection of the courts in Sweden and, as the Secretary of State’s decision can be reviewed, he would have the protection of the English courts also. But none of this was argued ..."
City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court (Sitting at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court)
The judicial authority in Sweden -v- Julian Paul Assange
Findings of facts and reasons
That is, not only did Assange choose not to argue this in the UK courts, his own witness told the UK courts that it was impossible!
Meanwhile, Baltasar Garzon is shrieking about a US grand jury:
... WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's defence lawyer says his client, seeking asylum in Ecuador, is in a state of limbo because of secrecy from the United States over the charges it may pursue.
"We anticipate those charges, but do not have any information from the US as the grand jury proceedings are secret - and therefore the charges are secret," Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish former judge who heads Assange's legal team, said on Friday.
"If charges are secret, (Assange) is completely helpless" to plan how to answer the allegations made against him, Garzon told reporters in Quito ...
Secretive US keeping Assange in limbo: ex-judge
August 4, 2012 - 8:47AM
I must confess that I have admired Garzon from afar, ever since he ruled against Pinochet, but here he exposes himself as a vacuous blowhard. Cogent criticisms, of our Federal grand jury process, do exist, but Garzon's comments are foolish and ignorant: the comments show that Garzon has been brought on board for purely political reasons
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