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Assange Arrested

by Nomad Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:52:23 AM EST

Par the BBC:

The founder of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has been arrested by the Metropolitan Police.

The 39-year-old Australian denies allegations he sexually assaulted two women in Sweden.

Mr Assange is due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court later.

A Wikileaks spokesman said Mr Assange's arrest was an attack on media freedom but it would not stop the release of more secret files.

Good timeline by the Guardian here. This also includes the news that the notorious mass-dump of information which would occur were Assange to be arrested is not in the cards, but that the drip-feed of released cables will continue as usual.

More updates can be posted in the comments as things develop.


Display:
WikiLeaks to continue despite arrest

WikiLeaks will release more secret US diplomatic cables despite the arrest on Tuesday of its Australian founder Julian Assange, a journalist working for the whistleblowing website said.

"In terms of what is happening, all is on schedule, all that stuff will keeping rolling out as ever. That's all I can tell you," WikiLeaks journalist James Ball told AFP.


Assange last week said he had sent out thousands more encrypted copies which would be released in the event that he or the website were "taken out".

"The cablegate archive has been spread ... to over 100,000 people in encrypted form. If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically," he said in a live webchat with the Guardian newspaper.

by Bernard on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:14:18 AM EST
Ministry of Truth » Blog Archive » The Great Wikileaks Clusterfuck

Visitors to Liberal Conspiracy over the last few days cannot help but have noticed a bit of a three-way ruck going on between John Band, Sunny and Cath Elliott over an article John posted on the maybe/maybe not/who the hell knows for sure rape allegations against Julian Assange.

Speaking for myself, I'm not interested in getting into the middle of the arguments over alleged mysogyny, etc.

What does interest me, however, is why this whole situation regarding Assange appears to have become a monumental clusterfuck in which no one really seems to be quite sure exactly what the fuck is going on or even, necessarily, what the actual basis of the allegations against him might be.

Its taken a couple of days of digging around, but I think I might just have the answer.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:19:13 AM EST
Boing Boing
A group calling itself "Justice for Assange" has called for a public protest at the Westminster Magistrate's Court in London at 1330h, in time for Julian Assange's hearing on the Swedish arrest warrant that may see him extradited.

that's about now... any webcams live on it?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:37:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
its not for another 45 minutes, no time to get down there, im sure there will be some coverage form outside from the BBC or sky news websites.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:48:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That account reads like a case of two groupies meeting a visiting pop star who behaves like an asshole with a sense of entitlement and then gets sued for rape by said groupies.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw a suggestion somewhere that someone might have put the two women up to the whole thing (and it's clear that the Serious People take an unhealthy interest in Arseange's sex life) but...

Occam's razor : no conspiracy is required, a fckup is plausible. And it's precisely because he felt like a rock star that it happened at the worst possible moment for his organization.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 11:37:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Media Diary Blog | The Australian

Julian Assange has written an Op-Ed, to be published in The Australian tomorrow. It was due to go live at midnight AEST, and it is already in early editions of the newspaper, due on the streets at 2am.

Now we hear reports that Mr Assange has been arrested. I have permission from my Editor in Chief to publish a snippet of what will go live at midnight.

Mr Assange begins by saying:  `In 1958, a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: `In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.''

It goes on to say a few more things about freedom of speech; the `dark days' of corrupt government in Queensland (where Assange was raised); the Fitzgerald inquiry; and it says much about his upbringing in a country town, ``where people spoke their minds bluntly.''



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:35:41 AM EST
Stop The Spirit of Zossen

By contrast, we fail to see what benefit will come from this latest gesture. Disclosure for the sake of it. We are shown merely what diplomacy is, day in and day out. Nothing there -- aside from the gossip -- is notable for structural insights or opens new systemic understanding. It's like a Facebook hack. WikiLeaks is tediously clinging to attention like SNL. They claim more `good stuff' is to come. Just like the next new host will be really funny, for sure. If this release is any sample, Assange, you've had your 15 minutes and get a show on Bravo.

Back in the 1990s, we argued in public writings against NSA and FBI efforts to impost export controls on encryption at absurdly ineffective levels (they didn't even want DES). Our point was that once information became digitized, control becomes largely notional if not wholly illusory, and technology wouldn't wait for the Federal Register. We get no satisfaction seeing the scenario play itself out in reverse here.

We can anticipate a counterproductive clampdown in response. What we got in exchange for that?

i don't agree with this, but the question is valid, and events are unfolding too fast still to know the answer yet.

i wonder how gentle the brit police are being with him, and if he has any dirt on them too...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:47:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well the big thing is they appear to be spending their time chasing the figurehead rather than going after the hull of the boat. Assange appears to be the out in public lightning rod whilst other people are doing the actual work. I don't see how this is going to have any major effect. at best its counter-productive as its driving many people who are otherwise neutral but vaguely interested into the very interested and actively supporting camp.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they want to absolutely nip in the bud any possibility of cult of personality building further around his scofflaw outlaw glamour.

are there t-shirts yet? cyber-che!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 12:51:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He wasn't smart to make himself a public figure - unless he really was looking to become "cyber-Che." He definitely has the ego for it.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 01:04:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
funny, i don't get egomaniac vibes off the guy as he presents himself. sure you have to have immense self-confidence to do what he does, but i see a very low-key persona, not attention-seeking for personal needs.

in fact he doesn't show an oz of theatricality, either in dress, speech or demeanour, making him an anti-hero, if anything...an a-hero, perhaps!

it'e exactly this shyness he gives off, and an air more of quiet, understated resolution and clear-eyed awareness of the import of his site/mission, that makes him an excellent reflection, imo, rather than a grandstanding opportunist.

he doesn't come off as wallflower, but attention hog....no.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 03:27:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Apparently (from one of the many TV discussions) he didn't want to adopt such a prominent role, but came to accept it was necessary in dealing with the media.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One ambassador's embarrassment is a tragedy, 15,000 civilian deaths is a statistic | Online Journalism Blog

Few things illustrate the challenges facing journalism in the age of `Big Data' better than Cable Gate - and specifically, how you engage people with stories that involve large sets of data.

The Cable Gate leaks have been of a different order to the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs. Not in number (there were 90,000 documents in the Afghanistan war logs and over 390,000 in the Iraq logs; the Cable Gate documents number around 250,000) - but in subject matter.

Why is it that the 15,000 extra civilian deaths estimated to have been revealed by the Iraq war logs did not move the US authorities to shut down Wikileaks' hosting and PayPal accounts? Why did it not dominate the news agenda in quite the same way?



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:49:09 AM EST

WikiLeaks US embassy cables: live updates

NBC Today show anchorman Matt Lauer began today's broadcast with this gravelly-voiced announcement: "The international manhunt for Julian Assange is over."

Barf.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 09:56:09 AM EST
We can all breathe a sigh of relief now...

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:01:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Should have posted This here

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:43:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't every person accused of a relatively low level sex crime vault to the top of Interpol's most wanted list and get targeted by an international manhunt?
by MarekNYC on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:13:46 AM EST
Interpol does not appear to have a most wanted list. It has one list that is not public and one that is public. Assange is on the public one, that can be found on their website.

Interpol - Wanted

An official Interpol Wanted Fugitives list is maintained on the Interpol website. This information may be copied and distributed. However, it must be clearly stated that this list represents a very small proportion of the full list - only those notices approved for public dissemination appear on the web site.

Interpol in turn gets all European Arrest warrants:

European Arrest Warrant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If the issuing state does not know the location of the person sought, they will distribute the EAW to all member states via SIRENE and INTERPOL.[8]

which are fairly often used:

European Arrest Warrant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The first reported use of the EAW was in January 2004 when a Swedish suspect was arrested in Spain and transferred back to Sweden.[5] Since 2004 the use of the EAW has steadily risen. Member state country evaluation reports suggest that the number of EAWs issued has increased from approximately 3000 in 2004 to 13,500 in 2008. Much of this increase has been driven by the large number of EAWs being issued by Poland, which in 2008 issued 4,829 EAWs, approximately 40% of all EAWs issued that year.[6] In 2008, 515 people were extradited from the UK under the EAW system.[7]

And even if rape is not a relatively low sex crime, EAWs has been used for minor crimes.

European Arrest Warrant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to the Council of the European Union, the EAW has been used in a manner that does not respect the principle of proportionality contained in article 5 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. In particular EAWs have been issued for minor offences such as possession of 0.45 grams of cannabis; theft of two car tyres; driving a car under the influence of alcohol, where the limit was not significantly exceeded (0.81 mg/l) and the theft of a piglet.[9]

The only exceptional thing here is that Assange is famous.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:49:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
though I probably shouldn't... the Assange case got no special treatment from Interpol.

The Swedish judicial system is not covering itself with glory in this case. Apparently the notice they issued to Interpol for the arrest of Assange was full of holes and had to be sent back for redrafting...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 11:43:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Asange remanded in custody till the 14th, legal commentators are split on the issue, apparently the Judge was fairly scathing about the lack of evidence, but had no choice as Asange  wouldn't give a UK adress

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:16:06 AM EST
Apparently defence was confident of bail, as £180,000 on the table for bail and a variety of celebrities were willing to stand surety for Asange

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:19:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Index on Censorship » Blog Archive » Breaking News: Wikileak's Julian Assange refused bail

A London court today refused to grant bail to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Assange is facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges including one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape.

In spite of pledges from financial surety from high-profile figures including Jemima Khan, journalist John Pilger and film-maker Ken Loach, District Judge Howard Riddle said he felt there was a substantial risk that Assange would flee the country. Assange will be remanded in custody until 14 December when extradition proceedings will continue.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:23:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News | UK | Pinochet bailed
The former military leader of Chile, Augusto Pinochet, has been bailed at London's High Court while the House of Lords decides if he has immunity from prosecution.

The conditions of his bail require the retired general to remain at the private hospital in Southgate, north London, where he was moved to on Thursday



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:26:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Wikileaks founder Julian Assange refused bail

Mr Assange is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of rape, one of unlawful coercion and two counts of sexual molestation, alleged to have been committed in August 2010.

The allegations involve two women, Miss A and Miss W.

If the district judge rules the arrest warrant is legally correct, he could be extradited to Sweden.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs:
pledges from financial surety from high-profile figures including Jemima Khan
What, another groupie?

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:30:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well i suppose it depends where he wants to end up doing time.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:44:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Isn't that a rather demeaning, macho comment ? :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[Migeru's Macho Moment of the Day™ Technology]

She has admitted she doesn't know him but she's going to post bail for him? And her "profession" is listed as "socialite"?

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I doubt if Loach knows him and I suppose even socialites and even female ones are sometimes capable of taking a principled stand about a cause they think is worth defending.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 05:59:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman and I were putting together options for a poll:

  • mysterious light plane crash?
  • falling piano?
  • poisoned umbrella?
  • arsenic-laden bacteria?
  • fall on the stairs to the cells?
  • shot in the back as he attempts to escape?
  • fall from a 5th floor window trying to escape?


Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh better added stabbed in the showers by a skinhead to the list. (Although if I was him I'd definitely stay away from light aircraft too)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
-unexplained electrocution by computer whilst checking certain website?
by Nomad on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:34:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, it's your diary, put up the poll already!

:D

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:35:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i vote death by british institution diet. maybe he'll go on hunger strike.

after what he said about putie, maybe polonium pancakes...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 12:49:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  • death by groupie?
  • falling anvil?
  • unexpected heart attack?
  • alien abduction?
  • freak webcam accident?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:43:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He just shouldn't have got his servers from the ACME corporation.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:47:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean Amazon?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 11:04:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if theyve taken over the market for supplying dangerously unstable technology to coyotes

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 12:32:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exploding condom.
by Jace on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:01:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He already survived that one, he's being tried for it.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He must be made of stronger stuff. More plastique next time.
by Jace on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:13:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to blow the whistle on machos generically.

Come on. His defense is "I didn't know the condom was busted until it was too late."

BULLSHIT.  Honestly, can any male here say that they have had a condom failure and DIDN'T NOTICE?

"Sure honey, I didn't notice a thing until it was, oops, too late."

I'm sure that's a crime in civilised Sweden. Lock this guy up and throw away the key.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:21:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From talking to friends, this isn't entirely unheard of. I know at least one couple who completely failed to notice that the offending item had slipped off until it had to be fished out afterwards.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, had it happen to me before

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:40:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I bow to superior anecdote...

Having been in the position myself, what with one thing and another, it didn't seem like a good time to make a fuss about it. I claimed not to have noticed. I was, not to put too fine a point on it, lying.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:42:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one time it happened to me I noticed, but I suspect that if it had happened at a later stage I would have been unaware until too late.
by MarekNYC on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:58:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was my situation, lateness of stage rather interfered with awareness.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 06:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Collateral damage from a Predator drone attack on a wedding dangerous Islamic terrorists?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 11:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd bet on heart attack, or sudden and inexplicable respiratory failure. Or maybe fatal food poisoning. But only because they don't seem to have succeeded at demonising him sufficiently to be able to rely on some redneck shooting him "on his own initiative."

Though if I were him, I'd insist on being extradited on an ordinary commercial flight. Much less risk of explosive engine failure that way.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 01:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt they'll off him. A wet job would risk release of the scary things in the archives. Death in custody would also be - like, you know - really, really obvious.

The movement doesn't need a martyr. Not that that prevented a hit on - say - MLK. But it might be unwise.

Letting him rot in jail for twenty years is a much more likely solution. He can't do much while the appeals drag on.

But what if there's a replacement waiting in the wings? Or two replacements? Or many?

Realistically, WL can survive just fine without Assange. It might lose some momentum, but it's unlikely to die.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 01:36:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But he won't rot in jail for twenty years. Not on the charges that have been presented, at least, unless either the reports of the British judge's reaction to the Swedish evidence is inaccurate or British judges have substantially higher standards of evidence than Swedish judges.

I'm sure the Americans could find something to stick him with, but there's no way in Hell any Swedish judge is going to hand him over to them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 01:44:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's looking a little like the US can't possibly win this, isn't it?

Oh dear. Well, that is a shame.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 01:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, it was quite clear they couldn't win it from the moment Wikileaks started drip-drip-dripping the leaks, rather than simply releasing the whole shebang in one go. A big document dump is big news for a day or two, but then it's gone, and leaves little lasting impact. Whereas a steady flow of small stories makes it part of the background that people assimilate without thinking. If they're evilly inclined, they can drip-feed the press Cablegate for months on end.

And the real irony is that they did so as a response to criticism that they were jeopardising American intelligence assets in Afghanistan by not going through the documents by hand to remove names.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 02:10:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They've got to close to 1.000 after about a week. With 251.287 cables, that means this could go on for years. For today's installment, here is their evaluation of Zapatero, right after he was elected.
We have already seen some 'wiggle room' in public statements on certain issues, including possibly on the pull out of Spanish troops from Iraq. Zapatero,s possible foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos indicated in the March 18 Wall Street Journal that a UN resolution prior to June 30 could provide the context in which Spanish troops could remain. If by May we are beginning to negotiate a resolution and if France and Germany are on board, Zapatero might agree to leave the troops in Iraq.

[...]

On macro-economic issues, we can expect sound policies. The PSOE initiated many of the reforms which laid the basis for Spain,s current economic success, and Zapatero himself has credited the success of Aznar,s economic policies in the past. Zapatero has already endorsed PP Minister of Economy Rato to head the IMF. There are continued grounds for cooperation in this area.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 02:22:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the international round up will now include a daily wikileaks section?
by njh on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:48:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am as said earlier thinking that he will most likely be acquitted. Even if convicted, rape, one case, first time offender, should give maximum three or four years prison. Last third on probation, time served when arrested deducted. And Swedish prison is in general boring but safe, built to be reformative through enforced normality and contemplation of your bad deeds, you study or work, have your own cell. Out in 2012-2013.

Those that believe it is a conspiracy will see the prison sentence as martyrship, and Wikileaks as an organisation hopefully not only survives but grows from this.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 02:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you study or work, have your own cell.

But do you have your own internet connection?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 02:23:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quick googling yields that you can bring your computer but you are in general not allowed internet access as it is to commonly used for crimes (read: planning drug related crimes).

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 02:30:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apparently the Judge was fairly scathing about the lack of evidence

Why do I fail to be surprised?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 01:06:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Because you're very sceptical about the women's stories - given some of the things that have reported about them ? :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:24:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even taking the women's stories at face value...

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, because the Swedish police has a history of extreme incompetence in the conduct of cases against famous and politically controversial (or manufactroversial) people. Particularly if they're DFHs of some description.

I've no doubt the real cops do a solid job in most run-of-the-mill cases. But when the political hit men become involved, they tend to end up believing their own propaganda a little too much to be able to put together a convincing court case.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 09:49:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
when the political hit men become involved, they tend to end up believing their own propaganda a little too much to be able to put together a convincing court case

Sounds like the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 04:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But Swedish courts are somewhat less tolerant of prevarications from poorly prepared prosecutors.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 06:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anti-WikiLeaks lies and propaganda - from TNR, Lauer, Feinstein and more - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
There was no valid arrest warrant in England for Assange until yesterday; he then immediately turned himself into British law enforcement.  There was no "international manhunt."  How long before Matt Lauer and his friends start featuring playing cards with all the WikiLeaks Villains on the them ("and here we have Julian Assange, the Terrorist Mastermind, who is the Ace of Spades!")?  Answer:  as soon as the Government produces them and hands them to the media with instructions to use them.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:33:17 AM EST
Greg Mitchell (GregMitch) on Twitter
Tortured logic. RT @resnikoff: Tip for Assange: If you get extradited to US, just answer "lawyers said it was legal" to every accusation


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:41:03 AM EST
Don't shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths | The Australian

IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:41:59 AM EST
Julian Assange refused bail over rape allegations | Media | The Guardian

Journalist John Pilger, filmmaker Ken Loach, and socialite Jemima Khan were among six people in court willing to offer surety.

They all offered at least £20,000 each. An anonymous individual offered surety of £60,000.

But District Judge Howard Riddle refused the WikiLeaks founder bail on the grounds that he had access to financial means and the judge was worried he would fail to surrender.

He said these were "serious allegations against someone who has comparatively weak community ties in this country and the means and ability to abscond".

But he rejected the prosecution claim that bail should be rejected on the grounds of Assange's safety.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 10:43:23 AM EST
Perhaps they're just afraid he might continue to have consensual sex without a condom.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 11:14:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in a couple of days, when the fuss has died down a bit. For the moment, it's a matter of appeasing the Americans.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:22:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't see this diary and went instead directly to the Open Thread.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 11:11:42 AM EST

Cables Belie Gulf States' Backing for Strikes on Iran
By Gareth Porter and Jim Lobe*

WASHINGTON, Dec 6, 2010 (IPS) - The dominant theme that emerged in U.S. media coverage of the first round of Wikileaks diplomatic cables last week was that Arab regimes in the Gulf - led by Saudi Arabia - shared Israel's view that Iran's nuclear programme had to be stopped by military force, if necessary.

The New York Times generated that narrative with a front- page story featuring an alleged quote by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urging the United States to "cut off the head of the snake", as well as other statements by Gulf Arab leaders suggesting support for military action.

"The cables reveal how Iran's ascent has unified Israel and many longtime Arab adversaries -notably the Saudis - in a common cause," the Times asserted.

The notion that these leaders, like Israel, favour a military solution to Iran's nuclear programme has become widely accepted by the news media in the past week. In a curtain-raiser to this week's talks in Geneva between Iran and the world's most powerful nations, for example, the Washington Post Monday asserted that the Wikileaks disclosure "show[ed] that Persian Gulf leaders have pressed for a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities..."

But a careful reading of all the diplomatic cables reporting the views of Saudi and other Gulf Arab regimes on Iran shows that the Times' account seriously distorted the content - and in the case of the Saudis, ignored the context - of the cables released by Wikileaks.

The original Times story, headlined "From Arabs and Israelis, Sharp Distress Over a Nuclear Iran", referred to "a largely silent front of Arab states whose position on sanctions and force looked much like the Israelis".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his U.S. neo- conservative backers immediately seized on the story as confirmation of what Israel has been saying all along.

In fact, the cables show that most Gulf Arab regimes - including Saudi Arabia itself - have been seriously concerned about the consequences of a strike against Iran for their own security, in sharp contrast to Israel's open advocacy of such a strike. They also show the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait expressing that concern with greater urgency in the past two years than previously.

Those facts were completely ignored, however, in the Times' account.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 11:37:38 AM EST
I must say that I do not see how being extradited from Britain to Sweden increases risk of being extradited to the USA. Except as in "foreigners are untrustworthy" for British consumption.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 12:26:04 PM EST
Well in some ways it might be better, The US extradition treaty with the UK is a similar no charges proved affair. It could be that while this extradition process is in effect it may be that extradition to the US at the same time might be considered an abuse of process, as it may make it unfair for Asange to have to be fighting both attempts at once. Fighting one may delay having to fight the more dangerous and more upset opponent.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 12:43:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's taken the US five years to fail to get Gary McKinnon. And the case is still under review.

I'd imagine the plan is to park Assange in a Swedish jail somewhere rather than a jail in the US. Extradition would require formal charges of (say) espionage, with the danger of a case in the US where the US is as much on trial as Assange is.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 01:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the charge against him is not rape. According to the Washington blog quoting many sources, it was for having sex without a condom, not even that, having sex with a burst condom, which he denies bursting on purpose, and she says that he did burst on purpose...

And something about not having had an HIV test.

Both of which (and I would ask our Swedish eurotribers to confirm that these charges do exist in Sweden and the reports are accurate) might make him a Bad Person, but certainly not a rapist, and I cannot fathom how they could justify denial of bail. If this is true BTW than the "rape" headlines are unconscionable - and I would imagine suable?

In other related news, the State Department is being unintentionally very funny:

The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day event in 2011, from May 1 - May 3 in Washington, D.C. UNESCO is the only UN agency with the mandate to promote freedom of expression and its corollary, freedom of the press.


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 12:57:10 PM EST
The Swedish prosecutors office homepage is hard to load right now (DDOS?), so I can not get a direct quote, but rape was in the list when I checked it yesterday.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 01:03:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Press Association: WikiLeaks' assange refused bail

Gemma Lindfield, for the Swedish authorities, told the court Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations. She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of "unlawful coercion" on the night of August 14 in Stockholm.

The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

The second charge alleged Assange "sexually molested" Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her "express wish" one should be used.

The third charge claimed Assange "deliberately molested" Miss A on August 18 "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity". The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 02:11:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is beginning to sound like a twist in the old Honey Trap.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 02:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Revealed: Assange `rape' accuser linked to notorious CIA operative

One of the women accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sex crimes appears to have worked with a group that has connections to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

James D. Catlin, a lawyer who recently represented Assange, said the sex assault investigation into the WikiLeaks founder is based on claims he didn't use condoms during sex with two Swedish women.

Swedish prosecutors told AOL News last week that Assange was not wanted for rape as has been reported, but for something called "sex by surprise" or "unexpected sex."

One accuser, Anna Ardin, may have "ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups," according to Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett, writing for CounterPunch.

While in Cuba, Ardin worked with the Las damas de blanco (the Ladies in White), a feminist anti-Castro group.

Professor Michael Seltzer pointed out that the group is led by Carlos Alberto Montaner who is reportedly connected to the CIA.

Raw Story is, as far as I know, a decently serious outfit.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aaargh.  They're a serious outfit, but the author of the report they are relying on is an insane, very racist writer.  
by MarekNYC on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters: Special Report: STD fears sparked case against WikiLeaks boss
The two Swedish women who accuse WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sexual misconduct were at first not seeking to bring charges against him. They just wanted to track him down and persuade him to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, according to several people in contact with his entourage at the time.


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 07:22:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Did Ms Lindfield apologise for the fact that the Swedish prosecutors failed to inform Assange of the charges against him all this time, even in Swedish ?

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:29:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Naomi Wolf: Julian Assange Captured by World's Dating Police

Dear Interpol:

As a longtime feminist activist, I have been overjoyed to discover your new commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating.

I see that Julian Assange is accused of having consensual sex with two women, in one case using a condom that broke. I understand, from the alleged victims' complaints to the media, that Assange is also accused of texting and tweeting in the taxi on the way to one of the women's apartments while on a date, and, disgustingly enough, 'reading stories about himself online' in the cab.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 02:08:24 PM EST
Some of the accounts have said that one of the women claims she asked him to stop when she realized he wasn't using a condom, and he didn't.  That would move matters into straightforward rape territory.  
by MarekNYC on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 04:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I posted a link to this when it was first posted

Jack of Kent: Rape Allegations and Due Process

News is breaking that Julian Assange of Wikileaks has been charged[* see below] with rape and molestation by Swedish prosecuting authorities.

The timing and nature of this news seems somewhat convenient for the US government.

But we must be careful not to jump to the conclusion that it must be a smear.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 05:39:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Marek Can we trace any of these accounts back to their origins - that is, is there an online account by someone who claims to have talked to the women or to have seen their statements?
by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 05:47:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is this which leads back to an account in Aftonbladet (in Swedish).

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 05:52:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Migeru - I read that last night but on re-reading I now notice that it says a police report recorded "She said she'd been raped in her home on the morning of Tuesday 17 August by a man who had sex with her against her wishes."  The Mail on Sunday version, based either on Aftonbladet or examination of the statements, recorded only that the woman's account indicated that Julian Assange had had intercourse with her that morning without a condom.

I am currently open-minded about whether Mr Assange has committed crimes against these women or not.  However, I have little doubt that the case is being pursued in the way it has been due to pressure from the US government.

by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 06:31:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pressure from the US isn't necessary, although it is of course probable.

Sweden has plenty enough Quislings who will sell out vital national interests to the Americans for a photo-op, on their own initiative and without any prodding from Washington. I'm willing to bet that half the Swedish right-wingers wish they could simply gift-wrap Assange and present him to the American embassy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 01:07:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by MarekNYC on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 05:02:16 PM EST
ThinkProgress » Lieberman: `I Don't Understand' Why The Department Of Justice Hasn't Charged Australian Assange With Treason
While the Justice Department and other government agencies are apparently searching for ways to bring criminal charges against WikiLeaks and those who leaked information to them, it is easy to understand why they have not brought charges of treason against Assange. For one, he isn't American. The doctrine of treason within U.S. law applies to people who have allegiance to the U.S. government, meaning U.S. citizens -- they can be charged with treason for betraying their country. Julian Assange currently holds citizenship with the government of Australia and has never even been a U.S. resident, meaning that he cannot be charged with treason against the U.S. government.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:42:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some people who should know better are astoundingly ignorant...

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:45:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Lieberman believes that the whole world owes the US allegiance? That would certainly be consistent with American foreign policy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 09:57:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... as continued implicitly by Obama.

Exercise the universal US competence to "arrest" (kidnap) people, anywhere in the world, and classify them as "enemy combatant". This does not require proof, or indeed evidence, that the person ever bore arms against US interests, so it can be extended to anyone on earth.

Imprison them in a territory of undefined or disputed sovereignty (Antarctica? Malvinas? Hey, the International Space Station might be a clever idea)

About the only legal obstacle is that, although you're allowed to torture them, you can't use the evidence extracted under torture in a US court of law.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 04:44:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
None of those policies started with Bush the Lesser.

He just had the bad Bond-villainesque habit of gloating about them to the cameras.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 01:13:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://blog.cagle.com/2010/12/07/whacking-wikileaks/

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:16:38 PM EST
Rob Manuel (robmanuel) on Twitter
Wikileaks has over 300 mirrors. Assuming the US government break them that's over 2000 years of bad luck.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:17:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A bit more bad luck than that and mounting:

"Wikileaks is currently mirrored on 1005 sites (updated 2010-12-07 21:55 GMT)"

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Dec 7th, 2010 at 06:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikileaks and the arrest of Julian Assange « UK Human Rights Blog

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested yesterday and refused bail after a hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court.

He was not arrested in relation to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, but rather on suspicion of having sexually assaulted two women in Sweden. His lawyers have said that "many believe" the arrest was politically motivated.

The mechanism for his arrest is of interest. He was arrested under a "European arrest warrant", with a view to extraditing him to Sweden to face the charges. Carl Gardner explains the process in an excellent post on his Head of Legal Blog:



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 06:01:39 AM EST
WikiLeaks US embassy cables: live updates | News | guardian.co.uk

10.57am: Operation Payback, a hacking group that claimed credit for
taking down the website of a Swiss Bank that cut off funds to Julian Assange, appears to have struck again.

MasterCard's website is currently unavailable after a similar attack in protest at its decision to cut payments to WikiLeaks, according Business Insider.

Mastercard.com is down, and Anon_operation just tweeted that it's due to a DDOS attack. Of course, Mastercard is one of the payment services that cut off the ability to donate to Wikileaks.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 06:11:14 AM EST
Johann Hari: This case must not obscure what WikiLeaks has told us - Johann Hari, Commentators - The Independent

Every one of us owes a debt to Julian Assange. Thanks to him, we now know that our governments are pursuing policies that place you and your family in considerably greater danger. Wikileaks has informed us they have secretly launched war on yet another Muslim country, sanctioned torture, kidnapped innocent people from the streets of free countries and intimidated the police into hushing it up, and covered up the killing of 15,000 civilians - five times the number killed on 9/11. Each one of these acts has increased the number of jihadis. We can only change these policies if we know about them - and Assange has given us the black-and-white proof.

Each of the wikileaks revelations has been carefully weighed to ensure there is a public interest in disclosing it. Of the more than 250,000 documents they hold, they have released fewer than 1000 - and each of those has had the names of informants, or any information that could place anyone at risk, removed. The information they have released covers areas where our governments are defying the will of their own citizens, and hiding the proof from them.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 06:32:25 AM EST
The first sensible Australian Government comments about WikiLeaks have been made by the Foreign Minister, and former Labor Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Mr Rudd is quoted today as saying "Mr Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorised release of 250,000 documents from the US diplomatic communications network. The Americans are responsible for that."

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, had previously said that Julian Assanges's release of the cables was an "illegal act", although she was not able to point to any laws that had been broken.

However, it may be reasonable to view Mr Rudd's comments as retaliation, because the former Prime Minister was criticised in US cables quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald today as a 'control freak' who made snap announcements without consultation with his own ministers or other governments.

Rather surprisingly, the former conservative Prime Minister, John Howard, said today that Mr Assange had not done anything wrong by publishing cables that contained "frank commentary".

"Any journalist will publish confidential information if he or she gets hold of it, subject only to compelling national security interests," Mr Howard said.

"The issue is whether any of this material and the publication of it will endanger people's lives or endanger individual countries.

"The bad people in this little exercise are the people who gave the information to him, because they're the people who breached the trust.

"They deserve to be chased and prosecuted." [same source as previous link]

At last, we are seeing a sensible response from some politicians.

by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 07:32:23 AM EST
Ellsberg: "EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."

Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures

WASHINGTON - December 7 - The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 09:01:57 AM EST
Laurie Penny (PennyRed) on Twitter
Yes, Assange is accused, not convicted, of rape. The argument that I'm making isn't just about him, but about rape culture in general.

Laurie Penny (PennyRed) on Twitter
Part of the psychology of social narratives of rape is that we are unable to countenance that ppl we consider good men might also be rapists

Laurie Penny (PennyRed) on Twitter
Many are arguing that Assange should not even stand trial. And that's what bothers me.

Laurie Penny (PennyRed) on Twitter
If interpol had a hitlist out on every man accused of a sexual assault this year, they'd be doing nothing else. They don't care about women.

Laurie Penny (PennyRed) on Twitter
@The_Journapist but it is about rape. It's about how little rape actually matters to people in power, only important when enemies r accused.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 10:02:56 AM EST
If there are any other Australians here, perhaps you would be interested in joining the sponsorship of the statement to be published in the New York Times and Washington Times condemning calls for violence against Julian Assange.  The statement points out that no charges have been brought in relation to WikiLeaks.
by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Thu Dec 9th, 2010 at 07:55:57 AM EST


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