The UK government is going to extreme lengths to arrest a man wanted for ‘questioning’ over, clearly spurious, sexual assault allegations and for skipping his bail. Why does the UK Foreign Office wish to jeopardise its relations with the countries of Latin America and completely alienate Ecuador over this man? As editor-in-chief of Wikileaks he broke no law (even in the US) when he released over 250,000 diplomatic cables. Many of the documents that were disclosed, including secret information on troop movements and operations, were over two years old and did not put any coalition lives in jeopardy. After all, the erstwhile ‘ethical’ hacker meticulously vetted the documents himself. Yet William Hague is still steadfast in his desire to have him arrested and extradited to Sweden on, in my opinion, fabricated sexual assault charges. Like any other politician who seeks to do something that is only in his government’s, or the governments of his allies, interests he is hiding behind the international laws that call on European nations to extradite those who are wanted by other European states, but it is becoming clear that this huge effort is at the instigation of America. President Obama has been virulent in his condemnation of Wikileaks and its editor-in-chief, Assange. Sweden already has a history of handing over asylum seekers to the CIA for extraordinary rendition; since the USA won’t be able to – or at least shouldn’t be able to, due to European and human rights laws – apply for his extradition to the US given that he could face the death penalty on charges of espionage, it is likely that Sweden will do the same again and hand him over. I believe the charges are farcical, and simply a pretext for the USA circumvent the restrictions imposed on any desire for his extradition. Mr Assange has not been formally charged for any offence, and is simply wanted for questioning; he remained in Sweden for nearly a month after the allegations were made public in the media – in contravention of Swedish law,which specifies that proceedings related to the crime of sexual assault, as well as the identities of those involved, should remain secret – but yet the Swedish authorities did not take this opportunity to question him. The Ecuadorean officials at the embassy in London for given their acquiescence to any approach from Sweden to question Mr Assange in London at the embassy; Sweden has refused to take up this offer. To one it would seem that Sweden want Mr Assange in their possession on Swedish soil, so that they can continue the same beat and hand him over to the US who, we know, wants his head; this suspicion has been reinforced by the Australian governments revelation that they believe a clandestine Grand Jury in Virginia has been formulating an indictment against Mr Assange. Now, it is clear Mr Assange would not receive a fair trial in the US, given the embarrassment suffered by Washington following the disclosure of the confidential and secret US diplomatic cables. Any case against him will portray him as a terrorist, and his actions as a breach of national security etc (you know all the clever manipulation of language that America uses to get its populace on side and hysterical.) And….well it’s the US government! A pseudo-democracy that preaches freedom, respect for human rights, and reverence for the sanctity of the First Amendment, but rarely practices it.
I’m embarrased at the UK government’s attempts at coercion and its conduct towards Ecuador and even more infuriated that they are doing the USA’s bidding. We are not mercenary State that you can just hire out to do your dirty and illegal work.
Free Julian Assange!! Free the Ecuador Embassy!!!