WONKETTE TOON SHOW  7:31 pm August 23, 2012

BREAKING: Assange Eludes Extradition, Flees To Ecuador In Elaborate Masquerade

by Matthew Phelan

Moves like Jagger

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 189 comments }

Fukui-sanYesOta August 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Haha, it's funny because he's charged with sexual assault.

Advn2rgirl August 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm

He was born that way.

glasspusher August 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Thunderstorms charged with electricity- film at 11.

comrad_darkness August 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Specifically "Sex by Surprise" Which is something like having sex in the morning with the person you had sex with the night before, but before they've fully woken up. And skipping the raincoat.

glasspusher August 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I kan haz surprize buttsechs?

sullivanst August 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Specifically a dismissive euphemism some tabloid newspaper made up combined with a description that does not match the actual legal definition for the crime for which he was charged. Because someone somewhere was just a little bit biased in his favor.

Fluffy_Kitties August 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm

According to Glenn Greenwald, Assange has not been charged with any crimes at all. He is only being sought for questioning in an investigation that was reopened months after it was initially investigated, Assange testified, and the matter was closed by Swedish police.

iburl August 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Correct, there is no legal charge against him in that case.

Isyaignert August 23, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I heard he was having a three-way and didn't put on a new party hat when he went from one of the participants to the other. Apparently that's a sex crime in Sweden.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 8:50 am

Glenn Greenwald isn't an expert in European law, though.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued. It was examined by the British courts and held valid. A European Arrest Warrant may only be issued as a warrant for trial, it is not valid as a warrant for questioning. This doesn't fit particularly well with the Swedish justice system, which requires in-person interviews after the completion of the investigation before formal charges may be brought, but clearly the UK courts, at multiple levels, considered the status of the case to be equivalent to charges having been brought in the British system, otherwise they could not have found the warrant valid and could not have approved the extradition.

RadioBowels August 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Is he a "legitimate" sexual assailant?

Boojum August 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Actually, I believe his alleged crime was cumming after the condom broke.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

Why not read what the alleged crime actually was, instead of repeating biased mischaracterisations of what it might have been?

Seriously, this shit is really winding me up. Since when did nonconsensual sex become OK if you support the guy?

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

Actually, I do not necessarily support the guy. I support the concept of Wikileaks, but I can separate them. However, I have followed the allegations against him and they appear weak in the extreme. They are certainly not the kind of thing that would cause Britain to threaten to break into the Ecuadorean embassy, were these allegations really the issue. Actually, I don't believe any of the conduct the victims alleged against him — putting aside his version of events — would even constitute a crime either in the United States or in Great Britain.

ExecutorElassus August 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

As noted below, he's not charged with anything. Just "sought for questioning" in a matter that was closed the last time he was questioned about it, but then re-opened in a district not of the original jurisdiction, but which *happens to be* the district housing the airport through which the "extraordinary rendition" flights passed through Sweden on their way to Torturestan.
Also, why the US somehow felt the need to note that it did not consider his asylum request legitimate, and did not consider itself bound by the relevant treaty, should give one pause. As should the British government's suggestion that they might consider storming a sovereign embassy to seize a non-UK citizen not charged with any crimes.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm

My mistake on the charges.

I find the idea that the Swedes will just hand him over for extraordinary rendition a touch tinfoil.

Terry August 23, 2012 at 9:27 pm

As is the idea that the US might have a better chance extraditing from Sweden than from the UK. Britain. The special relationship. Yeah, right.

miss_grundy August 23, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I don't think the relationship is that special considering we have "Ugly Americans" traveling there and making remarks to the press about "houses being small" and "trees that aren't to scale" and making comments about "the backside" of the Prime Minister's house.

Naked_Bunny August 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I'll bet that the United States isn't calling you an actual terrorist. That would sure change my tinfoil threshold.

Sharkey August 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Ecuador knows what that feels like. Why do they bother, I wonder.

Negropolis August 24, 2012 at 2:12 am

Doesn't sound too tinfoily to me when it was openly floated by the Brits that they could raid the embassy, which seems like an extroadinary thing to float if Assange is not that big of a deal. America's fingerprints are all over this; he is right to be extremely wary considering the lengths even allies have floated to get him.

It's funny. I'd tried to ignore the Bradley Manning thing for some time, and didn't really get invested in it at all, early on, but even when you begin to find out little pieces of controversy surrounding it it makes the United States government look just plain evil and paranoid, Nixon-style paranoid, in fact.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 2:37 am

I'm coming around to this view as well. The idea of the UK government entering an embassy I simply scoffed at, until I found out that it'd be threatened. I was gobsmacked. That's unconscionable.

Yeah, there's obvious very heavy US pressure here. I've still faith in the Swedes, should Assange end up there. Face the questioning and then a free man, should he be innocent.

Sweden does have an extradition treaty with the US, of course, but I can't imagine an extraordinary rendition. I honestly can't see the Swedes deporting him to face goddamn terrorism charges in the US, but if I were in Assange's shoes I'd be a touch nervous about it.

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 9:15 am

But then, given what has gone before, the idea of him being picked up and stuffed in a bag while everyone runs around and flaps their hands does not strike me as COMPLETELY off the reservation. Yes, it would be a big stink, but could it happen? Under W., certainly; I'd like to think Bams would say no.

HistoriCat August 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

Considering how Bradley Manning was treated prior to going to trial, nothing could surprise me about how the suspects are dealt with.

glasspusher August 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Encumbered with a low self image, Julian disguises himself as a speed bump.

IonaTrailer August 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Mittens secrets are out of the closet!!!!
"Gawker has obtained a large cache of confidential internal financial documents from more than 20 secretive hedge funds and other investment vehicles in which Mitt Romney has stashed his considerable wealth."
Woooo-woooo! He's going DOWN! http://gawker.com/5933641

sullivanst August 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Not based on the analysis they'd done by a couple of hours ago, there really wasn't anything to tie any decision making to him.

IonaTrailer August 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Yes, but it's his money. When people get a real look at how his money people shelter his do-ray-me, it's not going to look good.

sullivanst August 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm

It's shady, but it's also really complicated, and we already knew he had large sums of money oversees. I haven't yet seen anything there that's going to hurt him more than what we already knew, although an extra round of bad press for him isn't anything I object to ;).

IonaTrailer August 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Hopefully they'll keep digging and maybe they'll find something shady.

miss_grundy August 23, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Doesn't he have shares in a company that deals in medical waste including the disposition of aborted fetuses. If they could directly connect his wealth to owning shares of that company, that might hurt him with the idiot base that buys into the anti-abortion stance he has now taken.

comrad_darkness August 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm

You're teasing us. No way.

IonaTrailer August 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Way!

4TheTurnstiles August 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm

more likely: he accepted the amnesty deal that was offered a few years back for tax fugitives… which is to say, Romney may well be a felon who will never go to prison for his crimes.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/21/mitts-big-

IonaTrailer August 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Yes, I bet he did accept the 2009 IRS amnesty, too. THAT alone doesn't look good, because it raises the question of how much taxes he potentially should have paid. Rich scumbag.

viennawoods13 August 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm

He's saying now he doesn't want to release his taxes because he doesn't want to reveal how much he tithed; that's a private matter. And Ann cries when they hand over the tithe check, because it's all just so wonderful and meaningful.

Chichikovovich August 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm

It's a tithe, for Pete's sake. So it's presumably 10%. That's what a tithe is. And we don't have to just rest on semantics: In the Robin Roberts interview where Ann said "We've given you people all you need to know", she also talked about how Mitt was such a wonderful person, and exhibit A was that he gave 10% of his income to the LDS church every year.

You can brag about it on ABC News and three weeks later it is suddenly so private that it would violate your compact with God to disclose it? Lady, you already let that cat out of the bag!

Fox E. Puppet August 24, 2012 at 1:02 am

I liked this take on the news from the New Yawker: http://nyr.kr/Np7VhA

"One question is whether the Romneys will now, finally, realize the value of straightforwardness on this most basic point; if they do, we may have good cause to thank Gawker. Mitt Romney might, too—whether he knows it now or not."

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

Actually, New Yorker angles at a good point, that kind of shows the most likely way this could hurt Romney.

Romney's campaign is centrally based on the claim that his Bain experience means he underestands the economy. The Gawker papers could quite easily be used to build the case that Romney's Bain experience means his understanding of the economy is mostly limited to knowing how to avoid paying taxes by creating fictions, and that this is entirely irrelevant to running a national economy, and that furthermore there is tremendous danger in allowing someone who believes it is relevant to run a national economy, as they will likely believe many things that are the opposite of the truth.

Negropolis August 24, 2012 at 2:16 am

Gawker is so fucking weird. The vast majority of their work is just plain trashy, and that attracts really trashy, shallow, stupid comments. But, then every once in awhile they root out a truffle.

YouBetcha August 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I have successfully avoided all Wikileaks news. I have no idea what a Wikileaks is, or why this Assange character is on the run. Please don't shatter my innocence, Wonkette.

comrad_darkness August 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm

It's about trying to put water in a basket. Now, go back to sleep.

viennawoods13 August 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm

And here I thought it was put the LOTION in the basket.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 12:39 am

The lotion is for the skin. Or it gets the hose again.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I always love playing "Lambs."

Crank_Tango August 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I thought I had a wikileak the other day but it was just a really weird, wet fart. I called it a phantom shart….

rocktonsam August 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm

wonkette=innocence shatterers

are you new? haha

Maman August 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Yeah, but now he has to live in Ecuador… plus, he is unlikely to find his hosts without flaws. And that will prove awkward.

Spurning Beer August 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Mr. Assange is a disguise artist's dream. He's a tabula rasa.

Maman August 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm

and by that you mean albino?

glasspusher August 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Srsly, I grew out my hair once, once, to a pony tail a few years back, and decided to take the opportunity to dress up as Vincent Vega (and ms glasspusher as Mia Wallace) from Pulp Fiction. I colored my hair, and especially my eyebrows brown for this, and when I did, even I didn't recognize myself in the mirror. Makes quite a difference having visible eyebrows!

ShreditorsDesk August 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

He's an Etch-a-Sketch !

OzoneTom August 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

Also, this shows that Mittens was correct about British security.

Fox E. Puppet August 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm

What significance should we attach to the fact that this is a ReWritable disc?

weejee August 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Well it worked for RoboMittens.

glasspusher August 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Yeah, but it's been done too much on Mittens, and the bad sectors are starting to show.

glasspusher August 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

He's a cheap bastard?

Fukui-sanYesOta August 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm

It's a reference to Bradley Manning, who sometimes used rewritable audio CDs of Lady Gaga during his expropriation of all those leaked documents.

glasspusher August 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Ahh…that's deep. Thanks!

Fox E. Puppet August 24, 2012 at 1:06 am

Thanks- I did not know that. Lady Gaga has been around longer than I thought…

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 5:10 am

Did the stupid cartoon make any fucking sense without knowing that?

I did know that and still found it at most mildly mouth-edge curling.

deanbooth August 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Leave Julian alone!!!

* cries *

bibliotequetress August 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Sorry, my friend. Despite desperately wanting government transparency, the crapsplotch Assange made of Wikileaks and the fact that, you know. he's a rapist, means no tears from me. You cry alone. But I will pat your shoulder in a vaguely comforting way and bring you a Somebody-Must-Have-Died Ham, as generations of my ancestors have done for loved ones with sadness.

Boojum August 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm

He wasn't accused of rape. He was accused of continuing to fuck after a condom broke during consensual sex.

bibliotequetress August 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm

It began as consensual sex. The condom broke and she told him to stop. She ceased consenting. Perhaps he thought she could "close down" and not get pregnant?

Boojum August 23, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Actually, I don't think either of them knew the condom broke until after. She did not tell him to stop, in any event.

bibliotequetress August 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Sorry, but consensual sex ends when either party stops consenting. Just because someone is okay with a blow job, does not mean he/she is okay with anal, et cetera. "Stop" is the universal safe word. When she tried to shove him off of her, he had a lot of options. He had a world of safe targets he could have jizzed on. For whatever reasons, he opted to continue and ejaculate inside her. Even if we ignore the emotional pain– and the pain of having sex with someone wearing a broken condom, which anyone with even a trace amount of pubic hair and/or a labia knows can be akin to having a rubber band rubbed briskly agains a strawberry – this risked her wellbeing in significant ways that it did not risk his wellbeing.

Edit: Here's the Guardian coverage of the testimony. I was incorrect in that the woman whom Assange held down and would not give her an opportunity to get a condom was not the woman with whom he was having sex when the condom broke, but the younger woman who he was he was engaging in foreplay with who he then began to have sex with and would not allow her to get a condom.
My bad. My memory from listening to this on Sky and reading it in the Guardian two years ago was clouded by my disgust by the testimony and Assange's reaction, and I conflated the two women.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/12/julia

deanbooth August 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Wikileaks is a force for good, and Assange deserves praise for his role in that. As for being a creep, I don't care much — the Venn diagram of heroes and attention whores has always had a large overlapping area.

I don't know enough to form a firm opinion of the rape charge. But I do know that I am very suspicious of what's going on with the pursuit of Assange. What the US has done to Bradley Manning is a disgrace; the government clearly seems more concerned with revenge than with justice, and these are the same people anxious to get their hands on Assange. I do not trust them.

Fox E. Puppet August 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I have to agree with you. Personally am not an Assange fan, but the timing & circumstances of the rape accusations are suspicious to me. Since I wasn't there, I can't know if there was consent from start to finish, but I do know that there was plenty of opportunity & motive for a frame-up…

Agnostic on this one…

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Did he drop his victims off at a swing set? Otherwise, my understanding is it is not a sex crime.

glasspusher August 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Indeed. Swinger != swing set.

Come here a minute August 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Julian Assange did not commit "legitamate" espionage because the Obama administration enjoyed it, and showed cleavage.

HateMachine August 23, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Yeah, if it was legitimate espionage, then my understanding is that the DoD has a way to shut that whole thing down.

larrykat August 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

If any of his so-called victims are pregnant, you can scratch that charge off the list.

weejee August 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Lisbeth, the girl with the dragon tattoo, can find Ecuador – no prob.

Designer_Rants August 24, 2012 at 12:25 am

And kick a vibrator into his butt.

Callyson August 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

OT alert:

For you Wonketteers who have been speculating that dark forces in the GOP (yes, I know this phrase is redundant) are working on a plan to force Todd Akin out of the race:

Todd Akin Threat: U.S. Capitol Police Investigating Threat Against Missouri Congressman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/todd-aki

IonaTrailer August 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Maybe it's pissed off dykes looking to seek some retribution for the women of America. In flannel. With chainsaws.

Incitefully_Joe August 24, 2012 at 7:37 am

FAP.

RadioBowels August 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Fuck that, we want this piece of shit around for as long as possible.

Fox E. Puppet August 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm

The nicest thing about Akin is how very many, many people he's managed to piss off recently.

More people voted agin' him than for him in the Primary, but there were 8 candidates & the state's "Right To Pray" referendum on the ballot naturally favored turnout in favor of Religiowacko Akin.

Also, I believe that MO has an open primary system, meaning that some of McCaskill's supporters may have decided to vote for Akin in the GOP primary since McCaskill was running unopposed. (Turnout for the GOP primary was unusually high while the Dem turnout was unusually low…)

RadioBowels August 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

How in the hell did he get past TSA???!!1!?!1???!!?!11??

bibliotequetress August 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Ecuador! Lovely land of freedom and free speech! Paradiso where no one would be targeted for publi
Oh, oopsidoodles! http://www.hrw.org/americas/ecuador

iburl August 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Let's keep the pressure on all the abusers equally. Human rights watch is right. But,
I'm sure Ecuador would be paradisio to anybody facing Bradley Manning's world of 23 hour solitary confinement, harassment, sleep-deprivation and various other forms of can't-call-it-torture-when-the-prez-is-a-democrat.

bibliotequetress August 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I feel for Manning, think he was exploited by Assange and abused by the military, and I think both Assange has hung him out to dry and military intelligence has scapegoated him.

iburl August 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

There can be more than one scapegoat.

Notice that in our playful bickering no mention has been made of the thousands of stories that Assange and Manning brought to light of slightly more global importance and lethal consequence, such as war crimes and the killing of civilians. We are killing the messenger because we don't want to hear the message.

bibliotequetress August 23, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Wikileaks brought some very important stories to light from the Manning disc. This is true. By dumping the intelligence in an unread tranche, though, Wikileaks also released painful personal information about people on both sides of the conflict– personnel who had to return to the US quickly due to the suicide of a family member in one instance, as an example– and whether we like it or not, did reveal information that put people at risk. And, frankly, a lot of the tranche was mundane, notable for the quantity more than the content; it was not as interesting as a random volume of FRUS or a browse through the CIA FOIA reading room. Even some of this mundane material exposed either the US, or other governments, or various people to public embarrassment over matters that are pretty common in the scheme of political history but have caused some immediate diplomatic or humanitarian problems, notably in Egypt and, of course, Ecuador.

This was not the Pentagon Papers, because the unauthorized release of the Pentagon Papers was done by people, and one person in particular, who knew what they were handling and deliberately released information selected to expose what was and what had been happening in southeast Asia at American (and French) hands, exposing the inhumanity and futility of any "noble" arguments about US involvement. What Wikileaks ended up doing, which was quite different from how they began, was an indiscriminate information dump. We may not like it but we, the US, end up with information that can hurt a lot of people by it's mere exposure in public. In the past, Wikileaks used to expose governments classifying information foolishly, or protecting documents that revealed misdeeds, or governments not releasing information that the public needed to have to make decisions in their best interests.

The Manning material has bits of some of that, information that we benefit by it's availability so we can face our failures and our acts of arrogance. That we, the public, should use. But it was mixed with a lot of information that was either released pointlessly or could really be damaging to people who should not be at risk but now are. Maybe no one has been hurt. Maybe a lot of people have, We will not know until someday individuals can come forward and talk about it, and we probably will never know all of it. Assange could have used some common sense and this *could* have been like the Pentagon Papers. He chose not to. I have questions about the manner in which the US has been pursuing Assange through third-country pressure although I'm not terribly surprised he's being pursued. He did break a US law, and even if his motives were pure the US would pursue him. That he is not a US citizen is not relevant to the particular law; if I bought a second hand nuclear warhead that I knew happened to have been stolen from the Russian military, Russia would find me criminally responsible and would want to get me on Russian soil.
I was disposed to think the rape charges were exaggerated, not fabricated but dramatized for leverage against Assange, until I read the proceedings, including Assange's own lawyer's response.

Sorry, iburl, I'm getting so tired I can't spell or type anymore. Please feel free to respond even though I will be in bed in five minutes, not ignoring you.

Crank_Tango August 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm

This is like when I was in my hometown of Buffalo, southern canada city, and OJ was on the run, and we were like "Yeah! Go OJ! …uh wait why is he running if he isn't a fucking murderer…oh…"

Maman August 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Did I know that you came from the Niagara Frontier? or have I lost my mind. again.

btw. OJ ran because that is what he does. and what one does when the cops are ready to plant evidence to convict the nearest black guy.

Maman August 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Mr. Assange does realize that the UK has no respect for the sovereignty of South American countries…. just saying.

Beowoof August 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

You know a Swedish jail would be preferable to Ecuador.

Negropolis August 24, 2012 at 2:22 am

Depends on how long the Swedish let him stay, no?

sbj1964 August 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm

In the words of Beretta" Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.Don't do it!"

SayItWithWookies August 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Remember when someone in the Iranian Libyan (edited) embassy in London shot and killed that woman bobby? The Brits didn't even think about storming the Iranian embassy when that happened, and in fact ended up letting the shooter drive to the airport and fly home.

Julian Assange, however, who is apparently only wanted for questioning, has to hole up there for weeks and the government contemplates violating several hundred years of diplomatic tradition to get him — not to arrest him, mind you, since he's not charged with anything yet. Must be some kinda dangerous.

ETA: here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Yvonne_Fle

Fukui-sanYesOta August 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I don't see anyone from the UK government threatening to enter the embassy. I see a lot of whining about a rumour from the Ecuadorians.

The SAS did storm the Iranian embassy back in 1980 to rescue hostages.

The Yvonne Fletcher thing was awful.

SayItWithWookies August 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm

The Iranian embassy was stormed by SAS troops after it was taken over so it wasn't a violation of Iranian sovereignty.

I don't think Assange's behavior with the women who accused him is excusable, but in no other similar case would he be extradited solely for questioning without an indictment. I don't think the charges or the women's testimony is bullshit — however, the extent the authorities are pursuing him is.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 23, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I'd agree with you in that. There seems like an awful lot of pressure being put on the UK government from somewhere.

edit: and my apologies, you were correct in your original post

"In 2012 the UK government said it was considering using the law" relating to entering embassies.

This would be an extremely silly move by the UK government and I'm embarrassed they'd even mention it.

Guppy August 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm

The Brits didn't even think about storming the Iranian embassy when that happened

And then the Brits passed a law saying they would storm an embassy if one harbored a fugitive like that again.

Scroll down to the "See Also" section of the Wikipedia article you linked to.

SayItWithWookies August 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

So someone using diplomatic immunity to avoid prosecution for shooting a bunch of people and murdering one of them is the same as someone hiding out because he's being ruthlessly persecuted without having been indicted yet? Not quite sure that's equivalent.

Guppy August 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm

This particular "storm the embassy" law has been on the books for about 15 years, and the UK is obliged to recognize a European Arrest Warrant. The I's are dotted and the T's crossed.

SayItWithWookies August 23, 2012 at 10:52 pm

To the contrary, Interpol has no police authority and EAWs are nothing more than validation that an arrest warrant exists for a particular person and a particular accusation. Each member nation of Interpol is allowed to deal with EAWs according to their own policy.

I'm not defending Assange against the accusation that he had nonconsensual sex. But bringing him in for questioning just seems like a pretext for fucking him over for releasing embarrassing cables about the US. Sweden has repeatedly refused offers to question Assange anywhere but Sweden. Why is that?

ttommyunger August 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

"Not intended as a factual story".

anniegetyerfun August 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm

This could make my NRP-laden drive home extremely annoying as Melissa Block breathlessly asks one British correspondent after another just HOW THIS COULD HAPPEN. Please let it not happen.

Designer_Rants August 24, 2012 at 12:29 am

I could basically listen to Melissa Block recite a phone book. Some of my local state public radio people make me realize how good NPR is. It's like their (the locals') throats make clicking and/or grinding noises – and I have to turn that shit off.

anniegetyerfun August 24, 2012 at 12:32 am

Well, she's miles better than Michele Norris, who used to slobber through every segment about food.

iburl August 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm

1. Disguise a hollywood makeup artist as a lawyer and sneak him into the embassy.
2. Coat the walls with tin foil.
3. ?
4. Escape in the laundry basket.

Chow Yun Flat August 23, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Merry Wives of Windsor!

rocktonsam August 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm

oh cripes, aren't we done with this guy already

fuflans August 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

jesus and OT but listening to jane mayer on fresh air discussing bamz' lack of post CU fund-raising savvy is scaring the living daylights out of me.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 23, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Whenever I'm getting scared about the latest polls or fundraising, I head here and cheer myself up.

Designer_Rants August 24, 2012 at 12:40 am

I go there religiously, and swing state polls have been trending toward Romney lately, which makes me haz a sad. But this has also happened several times in the last few months, then trends back toward Obama.

TavariousChinaSmith August 23, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Can Bradley Manning haz asylums?

TavariousChinaSmith August 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

If Assange disguises himself as a Lady Gaga CD-RW, he could be extraordinarily rendited by the RIAA, and that could be even scarier for him than what the CIA has in mind. A Radiohead CD-RW might be safer.

FrankFuror August 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

So guys, I'm a little confused. Why are we suddenly unconcerned about all the things that Wikileaks outed, and instead decided to stone-cold hate on Assange? Is it because the spectre of sexual assault was brought up? Or is it because Bamz is in charge now and we don't want to think of all the nasty things that the country did under shrub, including some things we're still doing? From an outside perspective, that kinda looks like what's going on here.

I guess my question is if Assange did say fuck it, go back to Sweden, and then suddenly found himself in US custody, what would we do then? Would we be this blasé about it?

tejanojim August 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Word. This whole thing has always seemed suspicious to me, but when the British government is threatening to storm a foreign embassy in order to get a guy who is wanted for questioning for sexual assault, my bullshit meter goes off the charts.

I don't condone sexual assault of any kind, I wasn't there and I don't know what happened, and if Assange committed a crime I hope he is tried, convicted, and serves an appropriate sentence. But if you can't see that there's something else going on here, you're probably choosing not to look.

ChernobylSoup August 23, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Dude talked a child soldier into committing treason. I don't think Assange is a good person.

GregComlish August 23, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Ok

1) USA doesn't enlist child soldiers
2) Manning wasn't a child
3) Manning acted on his own conscience because he wanted to end the war
4) Manning approached wikileaks with the leaks

poorgradstudent August 24, 2012 at 12:32 am

Thank you.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 12:01 am

A very mixed-up child soldier, who was out to his fellow soldiers before the repeal of DADT. The kid wasn't right, sadly, and fought depression and isolation.

In my opinion, Assange is a straight-up dick. That doesn't justify his classification as a terrorist, nor does it mean he shouldn't help the Swedish plod with their enquiries.

Incitefully_Joe August 24, 2012 at 12:12 am

OT: In other news about cases I'm not sure quite what to make of, Lance Armstrong!

Basically, I'm either forced to believe either that:
a) After 17 years of inquiry, including several investigation attempts that came back inconclusive, the Feds SUDDENLY JUST NOW FINALLY amassed ironclad, overwhelming, and damning evidence that Lance Armstrong was doping, which totally justified the nearly 20 years of investigations,
or
b) Lance Armstrong is so fed up with being dogged by said inconclusive and *totally drummed up* allegations that he's willing to not only abandon the sport, but allow these charges to *completely wipe out* his title as Greatest Bicyclist in the World and Also Inspiration to Millions of Cancer Survivors.

Neither one of those really passes the bullshit test, unless I'm missing something else?

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 12:19 am

I found this interesting.

The runners-up in his TDF victories, and who's been busted since.

Incitefully_Joe August 24, 2012 at 12:24 am

Half of them seem to have been caught as a result of one sting operation, which certainly does raise some sample-size issues, honestly.

Still, "doping, but so was fucking everybody else in the field at that level" wouldn't be terribly surprising I guess. It would also, coincidentally, be an accurate description of fucking every professional sport in existence, one or two generations ago. I utter a forceful "meh".

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 12:33 am

That's also my feeling about it. Looks like everyone else was doping, so he probably was as well, and his achievements are still great. Doesn't make him less of a dick for doing it, if he did.

However, "meh" kinda covers it.

RadioBowels August 24, 2012 at 12:44 am

Tx Fukui, because I've had a very meh day. (But I'm good.)

Fox E. Puppet August 24, 2012 at 1:13 am

That is suggestive, indeed. I have had my doubts about him, & wouldn't care too much about him doing the same thing all his competitors were doing, but he always seemed pretty self-righteous about the whole thing.

SayItWithWookies August 24, 2012 at 12:47 am

I'm so disappointed. I thought he was clean, but not fighting the charges seems like a copout. Then again, I thought he had just beat a civil suit about him doping, and the Anti-Doping Association (or whatever the last A stands for) had standards that were pretty low, and thus hard to fight. But then some other prominent cyclists have said they saw him doping too. As much as I wished the charges weren't true, it's hard to understand his crummy statement as anything short of an admission. Yuck.

Lascauxcaveman August 24, 2012 at 2:10 am

Well, they've tested him a zillion times over the years and never caught him doping, so despite testimony of the guys he's mercilessly beaten over the years, their tests are either a bad joke, or he's had some secret dope that others didn't have or he's clean or … eh, who gives a shit?

I'm still going to ride my bike to work tomorrow, because the weatherman says it's going to be sunny but not too hot. This is what I'm thinking.

DerrickWildcat August 24, 2012 at 2:16 am

I want to believe Lance, but I'm suspicious of anyone that can win the TDF 7 times. I think he left for awhile and came back and won it again. I just don't see how it's humanely possible to do that without a little help.

Incitefully_Joe August 24, 2012 at 7:03 am

I dunno, I get a little leery of the "he won a lot, so therefore he must have been doping" line of logic. See Michael Phelps and his many medals, who, despite specious claims from China, only seems to have been doing the other kind of dope.

littlebigdaddy August 24, 2012 at 12:27 am

Does anyone else think that Assange looks like Mr. Humphreys from Are You Being Served?

Fox E. Puppet August 24, 2012 at 2:52 am

Yes.

poorgradstudent August 24, 2012 at 12:32 am

"Good for him" is all I'm gonna say.

Well, okay, I need an excuse to procrastinate so let me add…

Yes, maybe Assange is a huge asshole or at least difficult to deal with in person, and I don't agree with Naomi Wolf that there's an elaborate international conspiracy afoot (although I do think there's been a conscious tendency among certain segments of the media to play up the charges in order to duck the topic of Wikileaks, if not discredit it). But the case against him in Sweden is convoluted enough to have people who know way more about such legal topics than I do or I suspect most people in this thread do arguing away endlessly, so there *is* reason to question the charges, despite the judgment of the UK and Swedish courts. More to the point, disputing the charges doesn't make one either a mindless apologist for Assange or an Akin-esque "gray rape" definer, anymore than believing that Assange is guilty of sexual assault makes one a willing pawn of the governments Wikileaks embarrassed.

(As for Bradley Manning, since he came up for some reason…one person's whistleblower is another person's traitor; and there should be no question even among people who would put him in the traitor column that his treatment by the government has been inexcusable and clearly part of a ham-fisted crusade against future whistleblowers in general and Wikileaks in particular. But if you're going to cavalierly deem him a traitor then you have to call Daniel Ellsberg a traitor too.)

Okay, now *that's* all I'm gonna say. It's always fun when there's dissension among the ranks! Reminds me of the Ken Layne days when us firebaggers and the Obamapologists would go at it…

DerrickWildcat August 24, 2012 at 1:52 am

Ecuador built their National Soccer Stadium on top of a mountain so any opponents they play there fall down and die because they can't breathe.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 2:32 am

Doesn't really help that their capital is, what, 8000 feet above sea level?

DerrickWildcat August 24, 2012 at 2:54 am

Elevation Stadium City
11,929 Hernando Siles La Paz, Bolivia
10,656 Garcilasco de la Vega Cuzco, Peru
9,222 Olimpico Atahualpa Quito, Ecuador
8,793 Nemezio Diez Toluca, Mexico
8,530 Municipal de Calama Calama, Chile
8,386 El Campin Bogota, Colombia

12,000 ft. LOL, who'd want to play there?

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 4:57 am

Bob Beamon?

DerrickWildcat August 24, 2012 at 4:59 am

That's the Long Jumper guy right? It might help a little I guess.

PrimlyStable August 24, 2012 at 3:43 am

Somewhat disappointed to see fellow Wonketteers trundling down the Akin-esque path marked "well it wasn't rape-rape" comments. Not to mention the lazy recycling of Wikiparanoia about how Assange "hasn't even been charged", despite the fact that the Swedish authorities want him extradited specifically so they CAN charge him.

You may acquaint yourself with some actual facts here: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-gre

BigoBangoBongo August 24, 2012 at 4:24 am
Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 5:00 am

See first comment in this thread.

If Assange is charged after questioning, then he's going to get charged and go to trial.

It's speculation, but he's an alleged sexual assaulter. I want to see how that pans out.

friendlyskies August 24, 2012 at 5:41 am

Four Corners, an investigative news show out of Australia, did a piece about the rape allegations against Assange. It's interesting, but seems slightly biased toward Assange: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2012/07/19

It's just too bad, for everyone, that those women didn't press charges while Assange was still in Sweden, or even later, when he was trying to get a visa to re-enter Sweden. This whole mess would be over, one way or the other, and we could focus on the content of the Wikileaks. But at this point, it's like pitting the Pentagon Papers against the Kardashians in prime time – more people will inevitably be engrossed in the trashy soap opera aspects of the case than the gigabytes of information about war crimes, diplomatic tricks, and corporate thuggery released at such great cost. Anyone can speculate about Manning being an easily manipulated "child soldier," Assange being "creepy," or the rape accusers being "jealous liars" or "victims of misogynist Wikileaks fans." Why? Because we don't know, and we'll never know, but it only takes five minutes to read the tabloid version of events and make a call. It would take much more time and effort to read the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, and the "Cablegate" releases, then form an educated opinion about those.

PrimlyStable August 24, 2012 at 6:35 am

The problem lies in people being unable to separate what Assange did with Wikileaks (generally a good thing) with what he allegedly did to two women in Sweden (unquestionably a bad thing). Just because he stuck it to the man with Wikileaks does not mean he is incapable of committing crimes. Nor does it mean that any attempt to bring him to justice over alleged sex crime is a direct result of some grand international conspiracy against him. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Negropolis August 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Except that that cigar was so much more than a cigar. That's a very bad example to use if you're going to argue against a conspiracy, that doesn't even begin to mention alluding to a consensual act and an alleged criminal sexual act.

This issue is just insane with people running to both sides. I don't think you can separate the two issues, completely, though. Trust me, you aren't the only one disappointed in the level and angle of the debate, though, we're definitely disappointed from different angles.

Incitefully_Joe August 24, 2012 at 7:20 am

So basically, I think Assange himself really just wants to avoid being investigated for these alleged sexual assaults.

That being said, however, if the US isn't interested in extraditing Assange on unrelated matters whose criminal nature is, frankly, dubious, they definitely have a funny way of signalling as much. I don't think this falls into tin foil hat territory, as the history of the world of espionage, "espionage" and whistleblowers is really fucked up.

So, in conclusion, Assange is an asshole. The US is an asshole. England, Ecuador, probably Sweden? All assholes. Glenn Greenwald is an asshole, too. Assholes all around.

Misty Malarky August 24, 2012 at 7:38 am

"Assholes all around."

Thanks! The next round's on me.

poorgradstudent August 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

I know, but really I'd want my money back if a one-time teen hacker prodigy like Assange wasn't at least a bit of a socially dense egotist.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 11:46 am

That being said, however, if the US isn't interested in extraditing Assange on unrelated matters whose criminal nature is, frankly, dubious, they definitely have a funny way of signalling as much.

If the US wanted to extradite Assange, they'd have been positively falling over themselves to do so while he's in the UK, given the bilateral agreement between the US and UK which effectively requires UK courts to extradite anyone the US says it wants, for almost any reason. In particular, there's no requirement that the US provide UK courts with any evidence of guilt, they don't have to make even a prima facie case.

BZ1 August 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

Wait a second, he FLEW to Ecuador; what happened to no-fly lists and the such?

Ruhe August 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

I was in Ecuador for a week and a half once on business. Mid 90s. I recall that there were non-uniformed men armed with rifles everywhere we went. "Guards" our driver called them. In that part of the world "safer" is a term of very relative value.

FrankFuror August 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

Apparently my last comment somehow got lost in the works, but I'm going to ask again: I find it fascinating that people here give so much credence to the charges against Assange and are so blase towards the information Wikileaks made public showing US misdeeds. Is this because as Democrats we don't want to own up to the fact that a lot of these misdeeds have continued under Obama? Are we really that partisan?

DahBoner August 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

Jolly Good Show!

PB Goodfriend August 24, 2012 at 10:55 am

I'm just amazed his ego fits on a 700mb disc

Terry August 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

In the Swedish system, charges are apparently filed later in the process than in the American or British system.

viennawoods13 August 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I'm also not impressed that when he went to the embassy and left British jurisdiction, one friend who had stood bail for him then became liable to pay 20 thousand pounds. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikilea

Guppy August 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure EAW's are an EU thing, not an Interpol thing; more analogous to interstate extradition in the US.

shelwood46 August 24, 2012 at 12:50 am

They apparently want to question him in Sweden because if they do decide to bring charges based on the questioning, they have exactly 14 days until the trial starts once charges are filed. If they don't have him in custody at that point, he goes free, period. So if they question him in the UK, and he can go 15 days without being brought to Sweden, he gets off.

SayItWithWookies August 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm

You're right — sorry for confusing the two. It seems, though, that the constraints of the EAW regulations give Britain plenty of leeway for refusing to extradite Assange, including human rights:

"No person should be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

If I were worried that my questioning was a ruse to extradite me to the US, where people have been held in solitary, tortured, and driven insane (viz. Jose Padilla), I would consider that legitimate grounds for refusal to extradite.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Brits are actually used to that from dipshit Republicans. We expect it.

When GWB was re-elected, the collective response (even from conservatives) was "what on earth are they doing over there?"

Butch_Wagstaff August 24, 2012 at 12:09 am

There's some speculation (and it would be irresponsible not to speculate, right?) that maybe Romney has been cheating both his "church" and the government so that's now why he insists his tax info should not be made public.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 9:06 am

I'd be interested to know what proportion of the Mormon church's operating budget is spent on attempting to convert mainstream Christians. I mean, a pretty big proportion of their budget (apart from, of course, fighting tooth and nail against same-sex marriage) is spent on "missions" (read: recruitment), right?

I've always wondered how well it would go down in the South if you could say $x million of Mitt's money went towards trying to convert good Baptists to Mormonism.

Designer_Rants August 24, 2012 at 12:18 am

I believe that's the way I heard it on NPR – they put the "trial" before the charge… er, yeah? I dunno, NPR is the Word of Gawd, tho.

shelwood46 August 24, 2012 at 12:36 am

No, it was two separate incidents of sex without consent with two women living in the same apartment. It did involve not using a condom in both cases.

SayItWithWookies August 24, 2012 at 1:04 am

Um — do you have a citation for that? I've tried looking that up and haven't found anything in my brief search, but my initial thought would be that it would be a highly impractical way to run a civilization if every criminal got off after two weeks in hiding.

iburl August 24, 2012 at 1:31 am
Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 2:33 am

Radio, I have a lot to talk to you about but I'm not ready yet.

One day soon, and I'm glad you're good.

Fukui-sanYesOta August 24, 2012 at 5:07 am

There's a little confusion here from shelwood.

The UK used to be similar. If you are in *UK* custody (prior to the act changing this), you had I think seven or fourteen days to be charged, or you're out. There was a big, big fight to make this 28 days by law for terrorism offences. Which passed.

Assange needs to be in Swedish custody for fourteen days without charge before he gets the free pass. Custody in the UK and Sweden are not comparable, and don't affect the individual laws of the country: in that, shelwood is wrong. The UK can hold him for a few days, then extradite, and the clock restarts in Sweden.

Jose Padilla was sickening to the rest of the world. He was held without charge for, what, over a year? That was bullshit.

Free-est country in the world.

ChuckieJesus August 24, 2012 at 7:06 am

it's one thing to piss off your government, it's another thing entirely to piss off your… pastor? priest? poobah? what do mormons have, again?

it's hard to imagine mormons getting pissed, but i imagine it happens.

Incitefully_Joe August 24, 2012 at 7:34 am

Honestly, the only thing that would keep him from being rendered is the fact that it's a very high-profile case, which would make it difficult -though obviously not impossible- for the US to get away with it.

Heck, that might even be why he's been chasing attention so much for the past while. I mean, either that, or he has an ego the size of a small moon, but how likely is that, really?

Terry August 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

There were some of us in the US whose response was "what on earth are we doing here"

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

It also involved one of the women not being conscious, which is rape in most countries' definitions, including Sweden, the UK and the US. Apparently not Ecuador, though. Stay classy, Ecuador!

In the other case the allegation involved the use of physical force after consent had been withdrawn. Apparently this, too, is legal in Ecuador.

PS. vaginal Americans may wish to cross one country off their list of potential vacation destinations.

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 9:05 am

From the Wiki:

Allegations of sexual assault
Main article: Assange v The Swedish Prosecution Authority

On 20 August 2010, Swedish police began an investigation into allegations concerning Assange's behaviour in separate sexual encounters involving two different women.[232][233] Assange has described all the sexual encounters as consensual and statements by the plaintiffs confirm that the encounters at least started as such.[234][235] The arrest warrant was canceled on 21 August 2010 by one of Stockholm's Chief Prosecutors, Eva Finne, and the investigation was downgraded to only cover one of the lesser allegations. Finné said in a statement to the press: "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."[236] The warrant was subsequently re-issued by another Swedish Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny on 1 September 2010 who considered that the allegations could be classed as rape after all.[237]

In December 2010, Assange, then in Britain, learned that the Swedish authorities had issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to extradite him to Sweden for questioning. Assange voluntarily attended a police station in England on 7 December 2010, and was arrested and taken into custody. After ten days in Wandsworth prison, Assange was freed on bail with a residence requirement at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, England, fitted with an electronic tag and ordered to report to police daily.

The EAW contained four complaints from two different women: that on 14 August 2010 he committed "unlawful coercion" when he held plaintiff 1 down with his body weight in a sexual manner; that he "sexually molested" plaintiff 1 when he had condom-less sex with her after she insisted that he use one; that he had condom-less sex with plaintiff 2 on the morning of 17 August while she was asleep; and that he "deliberately molested" plaintiff 1 on 18 August 2010 by pressing his erect penis against her body.[238][239]

An extradition hearing took place on 7–8 and 11 February 2011 before the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.[240][241] At the hearing, Assange's defence raised a variety of objections, including mismatches between the EAW and the original accuser statements to the Swedish police[242][243] that exaggerated the nature of the complaints.[244][245] In particular they argued the original police reports showed – contrary to the EAW – absence of alleged rape; absence of alleged force or injury; admission in both cases of consensual sex on the same occasions as the allegations; and splitting of a condom used with plaintiff 1 rather than failure to use one.

The defence also highlighted evidence that: plaintiff 2 had later admitted to being "half asleep" after consensual sex, rather than "asleep"; that the plaintiffs had originally been seeking to compel Assange to take an STD test rather than prosecution;[246] and that plaintiff 1 had thrown a Crayfish party for Assange at her home the evening after the alleged incidents, from which she tweeted: "Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world's coolest, smartest people! It's amazing!" and invited Assange to stay in her room afterwards.[247]

On 24 Feb 2011, the court upheld the extradition warrant.[248][249][250][251] On 2 March 2011, Assange's lawyers lodged papers at the High Court challenging the ruling to extradite Assange to Sweden,[252] saying the allegations were "without basis".[253][254] After a hearing on 12 and 13 July 2011, the High Court reserved its judgement. On 2 November 2011 the High Court upheld the extradition decision and rejected all four grounds of appeal presented by Assange's legal representatives. Costs of £19000 were also awarded against Assange.[255]

On 5 December 2011 Assange's lawyers were granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, after the High Court certified that a point of law of general public importance, that ought to be considered by the Supreme Court, was involved in its decision.[256] The certified question was whether a prosecutor can be a judicial authority.[257][258] The Supreme Court heard argument in the appeal on 1 and 2 February 2012.[259] and reserved its judgment,[260] while Assange remained on conditional bail.[252][261] On 30 May 2012 the court dismissed the appeal by a majority of 5–2.[262] The court granted Assange two weeks to make an application to reopen the appeal after his counsel argued the judgments of the majority relied on an interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which was not argued during the hearing.[263]

Barring any appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, extradition had been expected to take place over a ten day period commencing on 28 June 2012.[264]

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

He didn't personally own those shares. They were purchased by one of the Bain entities in the period between 1999-2002, his name appears in an SEC filing because he still had 100% ownership of the Bain entity at the time. It was that filing that led to the whole spat about whether or not he was retired. But those who accept that he was retired are also going to exonerate him of any blame associated with the medical waste company; that happens to cover almost all of the people who would actually have a major problem with the company in question.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

You don't believe that having sex with an unconscious person is a crime?

I strongly recommend, for your sake, that you never put that theory to the test.

Similarly, the use of physical force in a sexual act after consent has been withdrawn.

Now, the threat to break into the Ecuadorean embassy is truly absurd, that would be an act of war.

JerkCade August 24, 2012 at 10:29 am

This times eleventy billion.

Shall we extradite him to Sweden and then on to the US to be "tried" and executed for espionage? For allegedly acting like a shit?

Forrest. Trees. You know?

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Actually, I don't believe any of the conduct the victims alleged against him — putting aside his version of events — would even constitute a crime either in the United States or in Great Britain.

On the status of the alleged behavior in English law, there is, it turns out, no room for doubt at all, because the extradition court was required to address this point, and that court's decision has been upheld both by the High Court and the Supreme Court. Pages 22-23 of the extradition court's ruling address all four points in the European Arrest Warrant, and find that each of them would constitute a criminal act under English law.

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

It is my understanding she was "half asleep" and consented. She claims he promised to use a condom; he says otherwise. Of course sex with an unconscious person can be rape ( absent a prior understanding about the best way to be awakened). It just does not appear to apply, based on the victim's statement.

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

See post above. I do not think the facts are as you suggest. There is at least considerable room for doubt and (at least) reasonable doubt.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

That's the defense's claim, but the Prosecutor's allegation is that she was asleep.

PrimlyStable August 24, 2012 at 10:05 am

" I don't believe any of the conduct the victims alleged against him — putting aside his version of events — would even constitute a crime either in the United States or in Great Britain."

Whether or not such acts would be a crime in the US is irrelevant, as he's being extradited from the UK to Sweden. As for Britain, Assange's legal team has twice attempted to have the case thrown out on the grounds that nothing Assange is alleged to have done would be a crime in the UK, and twice the British courts (Magistrates and High) have ruled that, yes, actually, it would be.
http://jackofkent.com/2012/06/assange-would-the-r

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

I guess I wasn't even a little careful with the way I expressed myself.There are significant questions of fact which raise considerable doubt at this point as to whether the accusations against Assange will stand up. I have no problem with people suggesting that the case against him is weak and that he should be acquitted. I have a huge problem with people denying that the accusations themselves are of crimes. I have a huge problem with people attempting to claim that what he is accused of is not rape and sexual assault.

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 10:11 am

Yes, according to what was charged. However, there seems to be considerable divergence between the charges and the victims' allegations.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

If the US wanted him extradited, the US-UK extradition treaty would make it about elebenty bajillion times easier to get him from the UK than it would be to get him from Sweden.

The US-UK treaty doesn't really require any more than a quick note saying "Please send us Julian Assange, we don't like him and think he's a bad man. Thanks, Barry", and the UK courts would be compelled to serve him up, without any evidentiary hearings.

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

This is what I was remembering.
http://m.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I do not believe we disagree, insofar as it relates to the charges, rather than the story underlying the charges. If he is guilty of what was charged, he is a rapist. I just think it unlikely and even less likely he would be convicted.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

So you'd agree that it is alleged that Miss W was asleep, having made very clear to Assange that she did not consent to unprotected sex, and woke up to discover that he was having unprotected sex with her? That is exactly what offense 4, the most serious allegation, of the European Arrest Warranted states, describing it as rape, a description with which the English courts agreed.

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

She made a contemporaneous statement that she was "half asleep" and, apparently, did not express disapproval at the time. This is, in addition, after they had twice had sex, including right before going to sleep.

Did he possess the necessary mens rea? I think the circumstances indicate otherwise.

Boojum August 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Bradley Manning committed an act of espionage during wartime in theatre. They could have held a drumhead courtmartial and shot him dead.

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Let's be a little more precise here. There was a text message that was characterized by Assange's lawyers as her saying she was "half asleep" (which by itself would not necessarily be exhonorating – isn't the legal principle whether she was sufficiently alert to grant or withhold consent?) There is no denial that she had made clear she only consented to protected sex. There is evidence of a pattern of behavior of her objecting to unprotected sex. It is not disputed that when she became fully awake the first thing she asked was whether he was wearing protection.

ETA: I'd also note, while the extradition court judge was effusive in his praise for the defense witnesses, the same could not be said for Assange's Swedish lawyer, who was pretty much accused of lying to the court (and the defense witnesses).

sullivanst August 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm

In the Guardian piece you linked dealing with the leaked documents, I don't see anything in the way of evidence that the accusations on the arrest warrant differ from what the complainants told police.

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