Response to freshwest (Reply #31)
Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:43 PM
MADem (110,317 posts)
36. That is the balcony off the main living room. He is living in a room at the back, described
"It's a small room. It has a window, but I wouldn't describe it as airy. I didn't see any kitchen facilities, though I understand he has access to a microwave. He has access to a shower. A supporter gave him a running machine," said Smith.
..."It's pretty tight. He's divided the room up with a bookcase into a sleeping part and a non-sleeping part," said Smith.
"The key thing is he can work. He can hold meetings, he can invite some people in. He can do what he needs to do."
His immunity is based on the fact that he is on Ecuadorian "soil"--so long as he stays in property rented, leased or owned by Ecudador for the purposes of a diplomatic mission, he is -- for all intents and purposes--in "Ecuador." The minute he steps into the hall leading to the apartment's front door, though, though, he's not. The balcony? That's Ecuador's. Their little sign is attached to it, I believe.
It's not paperwork, it's location that keeps him free from interference...though the Brits do have, on their books, a law that allows them to "hot pursuit" a wanted person in an Embassy--this law came about as a result of a young policewoman getting shot dead from, I think, the Libyan Embassy eons ago. Yes--here it is:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Yvonne_Fletcher
If they 'really, really, REALLY' wanted him, they'd have that door off the hinges and he'd be frogmarched to a paddywagon in moments. They don't 'really' want him, I don't think.
He can serve his sentence in Sweden, or he can serve it in Knightsbridge, and pay for it himself--that's how I think they are looking at it.
I think the people who donated money to wikileaks are paying for his upkeep, meals, laundry, computers and things of that nature. I wouldn't be surprised if he has money of his own, paying himself for his organizational leadership, already put aside. I doubt Ecuador wants rent for the room--they got a lot of "Nose-tweaking Uncle Sam" propaganda out of it (even though the USA is Ecuador's largest trading partner, and Ecuador uses the US dollar as their own currency--no need to go to the currency exchange when visiting Quito or elsewhere). If the US really gave a shit about "getting" Assange, all they'd need to do is threaten the trade relationship with Ecuador and they'd cave in a nanosecond, citing some sort of twisted logic as a reason. I think, if anything, the fact that Ecuador is so sweetly "imprisoning" the guy while playing an orchestra of propaganda serves a LOT of people and nations very well. He's not mischief - making while he's stuck in that back room. His wikileaks pals have pretty much abandoned him, many of them. One of his staunchest supporters --who put up a lot of his bail money (and lost it) is pissed off enough at the guy to write about it (the whole article is worth a read):
As Bill Leonard, the classification tsar for the Bush administration, says in our film: “The Espionage Act is primarily intended to address situations where individuals pass national defence information over to the enemy in order to allow the enemy to harm us. It would be unprecedented if the Espionage Act was being used to attack individuals who did not do anything more than the New York Times or the Washington Post does every day.”
There is no evidence that US national security was damaged in any way by the leaks, nor indeed that democracy has ever been harmed by an increase in the public’s knowledge and understanding. If Assange is prosecuted in the US for espionage, I suspect even his most disenchanted former supporters will take to the barricades in his defence.
The list of alienated and disaffected allies is long: some say they fell out over redactions, some over broken deals, some over money, some over ownership and control. The roll-call includes Assange’s earliest WikiLeaks collaborators, Daniel Domscheit-Berg and “The Architect”, the anonymous technical whizz behind much of the WikiLeaks platform. It also features the journalists with whom he worked on the leaked cables: Nick Davies, David Leigh and Luke Harding of the Guardian; the New York Times team; James Ball; and the Freedom of Information campaigner Heather Brooke. Then there are his former lawyer Mark Stephens; Jamie Byng of Canongate Books, who paid him a reported £500,000 advance for a ghostwritten autobiography for which Assange withdrew his co-operation before publication; the Channel 4 team that made a documentary about him which resulted in his unsuccessful complaint to Ofcom that it was unfair and had invaded his privacy; and his former WikiLeaks team in Iceland.
The problem is that WikiLeaks – whose mission statement was “to produce . . . a more just society . . . based upon truth” – has been guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as those it sought to expose, while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion.
...On the subject of Assange, pundits on both the left and the right have become more interested in tribalism than truth. The attacks on him by his many critics in the press have been virulent and highly personal. Both sides are guilty of creating political caricatures and extinguishing any possibility of ambivalence. “On the other handism” doesn’t make great copy, but in this particular debate everyone is too polarised. The kind of person who spends his life committed to this type of work, wedded to a laptop, undercover, always on the move, with no security, stability or income, is bound to be a bit different. I have seen flashes of Assange’s charm, brilliance and insightfulness – but I have also seen how instantaneous rock-star status has the power to make even the most clear-headed idealist feel that they are above the law and exempt from criticism.
If he went back to Sweden, the only people who would "bother" him would be the Swedish authorities, who would ask him questions about his conduct with those women. Sweden has some very specific laws about rape that are taken more seriously there than in some other countries. Failing to use protection when one partner wants said protection, even during consensual sex, is--as it should be--a serious offense. I think it's bothersome that so many people are suggesting that these women are "tools" or agents or what-have-you, and/or somehow "responsible" for JA's fate. The one responsible is JA--who couldn't/wouldn't keep his member in his pants and who behaved irresponsibly.
I think his fifteen minutes of fame are nearly up. As soon as the movie about him is released and has either succeeded or failed, I think he'll drop off the radar again. I don't claim to know a thing about Australian politics, but I can't imagine people voting for this guy for any office, not even dogcatcher.
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That is the balcony off the main living room. He is living in a room at the back, described
|Nye Bevan||Feb 2013||#21|
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