The British government’s menacing of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday morning, with its threat that its police might well come on to the embassy grounds to arrest wikileaks leader and fugitive Julian Assange, resembles nothing so much as the Iranian regime’s cavalier attitude to the supposed inviolability of embassies. To be sure, Assange does not himself have diplomatic immunity. But the ground on which the Ecuadorian embassy sits is considered in international law to be Ecuadorian territory, and breaching it is tantamount to an invasion.
The British and American governments ought to consider this apparent and real equivalence a colossal embarrassment for their countries. Both, after all, were deeply implicated in the path which concluded with the Iranian Revolution. That Revolution produced an embassy invasion and hostage crisis which cohered into the stake that finished off the decrepit Carter presidency. Despite many events like this, both countries do believe themselves to be the apex of civilized society. Both, however, are or were empires, and therefore have grown accustomed to covering for their many crimes with choice rhetoric. Empires mostly sit somewhere beyond embarrassment. That is one consequence of the enormous power. They suffer embarrassment only when their powers fail to support their arrogance, when the Lilliputians of the world smite them and when they fail to respect the limits which constrain them. Thus America’s embarrassment in this matter: Assange cannot fail to pay for what he did to Superpower. He must be punished just as Bradley Manning had been punished (tortured). Until the revenge is complete, Assange will be an embarrassment for Uncle Sam.
Chris Floyd concurred with the above and has written thusly:
It is apparent that the nation of Ecuador will now be in the frame for what American foreign policy elites like to call, in their dainty and delicate language, “the path of action.” Ecuador granted political asylum to Julian Assange on Thursday for one reason only: the very real possibility that he would be “rendered” to the United States for condign punishment, including the possibility of execution.
None of the freedom-loving democracies involved in the negotiations over his fate — Britain, Sweden, and the United States — could guarantee that this would not happen … even though Assange has not been charged with any crime under U.S. law. [And even though the sexual misconduct allegations he faces in Sweden would not be crimes under U.S. or UK law.] Under these circumstances — and after a sudden, blustering threat from Britain to violate the Ecuadorean embassy and seize Assange anyway — the government of Ecuador felt it had no choice but to grant his asylum request.
Of course, great harm has been done to the pride of the puffed–up poltroons who strut and preen atop the imperial battlements, thinking themselves the lords of all the earth and the apple of every little peon’s eye. Their crimes and lies and third-rate minds were exposed — in their own words — by Wikileaks: and it is for this that Assange must pay. (And be made an example of to all those who might do likewise). Our imperial elites (and their innumerable little yapping media sycophants on both sides of the political fence) simply cannot bear to have American power and domination resisted in any way, at any time, for any reason, anywhere, by anyone. It offends their imperial dignity. It undermines their extremely fragile, frightened, frantic egos, which can only be held together by melding themselves to an image of monstrous, implacable, unstoppable power.
- Julian Assange Under Threat of Extradition from the British Ecuadorian Embassy (techie-buzz.com)
- ‘Persecuted’ Assange to go public (smh.com.au)
- Ecuadorian spokesman: ‘We are deeply shocked by the British government’s threats’ (itv.com)
- Granted asylum, Assange to go public (theage.com.au)
- Assange granted asylum by Ecuador (bbc.co.uk)
- No safe passage out of the UK for Julian Assange, says William Hague (independent.co.uk)
- Confirmed: Ecuador grants Julian Assange asylum in dramatic standoff (rt.com)
- Ecuador’s embassy in UK claims threat over Assange (independent.co.uk)
- UK govt threatens Ecuador embassy (bigpondnews.com)
- UK ‘has duty to extradite Julian Assange’ (independent.co.uk)
The New York Times reported that
The move leaves Mr. Assange with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorian territory, meaning he could only leave the embassy for Ecuador with British cooperation.
The decision also adds to sharp strains between Ecuador and Britain. Just before the announcement by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño at a news conference in Quito, President Rafael Correa said: “No one is going to terrorize us!” The night before, Mr. Patiño said that the British authorities had threatened to force their way into the embassy, to which he responded: “We are not a British colony.”
Reading from a government communiqué, Mr. Patiño said: “The government of Ecuador, faithful to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or in its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange.”
What makes this move especially significant is Patiño’s claim that “…his government had made its decision after the authorities in Britain, Sweden and the United States refused to give guarantees that, if Mr. Assange were extradited to Sweden, he would not then be sent on to the United States to face other charges.” What does this mean? I would say that by its actions and statements it is now clear that Ecuador doubts the capacity and willingness of the United States to act with legal integrity with respect to Assange. Ecuador’s actions ought to cause sensible Americans to hang their heads in shame. Naturally, the blockheads in the United States will find Ecuador’s actions an affront to Superpower.
Of course, Sweden and Great Brittan, Superpower’s attack poodles, judged Ecuador’s decision unacceptable.
- Ecuador grants political asylum to Julian Assange – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Ecuador gives asylum to WikiLeak’s Assange (english.ruvr.ru)
- Ecuador grants WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum (guardian.co.uk)
- Britain warns Ecuador over Assange asylum (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Julian Assange gets political asylum, now stuck in Ecuadorean embassy (deathandtaxesmag.com)
- Ecuador grants asylum to WikiLeaks founder Assange (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Ecuador: Britain threatens arrest of WikiLeaks’ Assange (foxnews.com)
- Confirmed: Ecuador grants Julian Assange asylum in dramatic standoff (rt.com)
- Ecuador grants asylum to WikiLeaks’ Assange (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
- Ecuador condemns Julian Assange threat (independent.co.uk)
…the Ecuador foreign minister made a “severe allegation” today during a press conference against the United Kingdom and claimed they had received a “threat” to storm the Ecuador embassy in the UK to force the country to hand over WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who has applied for political asylum in Ecuador.
According to BBC News, Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino declared, “We’re not a British colony. UK threat to storm embassy would be hostile and force us to respond.” He added any “attack” would be a violation of the Vienna Convention, the United Nations Charter and other various principles enshrined in international law.
It is now clear that Britain would rather appease the United States by committing an act of war against the people of Ecuador than it would respect international law governing these matters. To threaten aggression entails committing an act of aggression. Britain has thus promised to commit the supreme international crime, a crime which it has committed before. Julian Assange, on the other hand, may have committed the crimes of which he allegedly committed, just as Sweden has claimed. (Assange has not yet been charged.) But the actual ‘crimes’ for which Assange will be extradited and which might lure Britain to commit an act of aggression against Ecuador are not sexual assaults that may have occurred in Sweden. Moreover, let us remember that these crimes are very common and the world legal system easily suffers their commission every single day. Assange’s crimes are far more rare and serious than those for which Sweden wants him to return to that country. Assange and WikiLeaks bloodied Superpower’s nose by exposing its crimes, and acts such as this just cannot be tolerated.
I believe it is right to suspect the motivations of Sweden and Britain in this matter. As we know, they have made allies of themselves to a criminal regime, the United States of America. Their hands are not clean because of this. Uncle Sam’s hands are so blood stained that they will never be clean of the letting which stained them.
- Assange ‘will be given asylum in Ecuador’… (telegraph.co.uk)
- Govt ‘threat to arrest Assange’ (independent.ie)
- Assange to be granted asylum in Ecuador: report (abc.net.au)
- Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange (lezgetreal.com)
- Ecuador ‘Shocked’ By UK Threats Over Assange (news.sky.com)
- Ecuador says Britain threatened embassy assault (thenewstribune.com)
- Ecuador’s president denies reports he has decided to offer Julian Assange asylum – @NBCNews (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
- Ecuador Accepts Julian Assange’s Bid for Asylum: Report (commondreams.org)
- Assange: Rt: Ecuador to Decide on Political Asylum for Him Be End of Week (faktensucher.wordpress.com)
- Still no word on Assange: Roxon (news.smh.com.au)
One may find among the Stratfor email cache just released by WikiLeaks a Department of Homeland Security Assessment Report which discussed the ‘threats posed by’ the Occupy Movement. The report begins with this passage:
Mass gatherings associated with public protest movements can have disruptive effects on transportation, commercial, and government services, especially when staged in major metropolitan areas. Large scale demonstrations also carry the potential for violence, presenting a significant challenge for law enforcement.
It is clear that this report prejudges a movement that has never committed itself to using violence to achieve political goals. Its commitment to non-violent methods is so unlike the official commitment to using violent methods when confronting the Occupy Movement. It is a well-established fact that law enforcement departments in numerous cities have used violent techniques to suppress the legal exercise of a citizen’s First Amendment rights. There are also reasons to believe that the Department of Homeland Security along with similar federal agencies coordinated the suppression of the Occupy Movement that occurred late last year. It is both ironic and unsurprising that the disorder surrounding the Occupy Movement originated mostly from the actions of the police.
- Homeland Security memo warned of violent threat posed by Occupy Wall Street (boingboing.net)
- WikiLeaks Stratfor Disclosure Highlights Email Encryption Failure (informationweek.com)
- Anonymous Reveals Private Intelligence Firm Infiltrated Occupy Austin (izabael.com)
- CNN Investigates ‘Anonymous’ Hacktivist Group And How It’s Helping Occupy Movement (mediaite.com)
- Anonymous claims Stratfor spied on OWS (rt.com)
- WikiLeaks Release of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- WikiLeaks Uncovers Report Showing Homeland Security Monitored Occupy Movement (firedoglake.com)
- Homeland Security Kept Tabs on Occupy Wall Street (rollingstone.com)
According to an Associated Press report, the Pentagon will move Bradley Manning from the brig at the Quantico, VA Marine Corps Base to the infamous United States Disciplinary Barracks at Leavenworth, KS. The transfer might provide Pvt. Manning with some relief from his ordeal, which has included measures deemed to be inhumane and even forms of torture. Manning is the accused source of the famous United States Diplomatic Cables given to WikiLeaks.
A few comments:
I find it very ironic that the Pentagon made the news of Manning’s transfer public through an anonymous leak.
It is also ironic that Manning’s confinement and treatment are likely the kind of crimes a whistleblower like Bradley Manning might expose if they were unknown by the general public.
Finally, while Manning’s transfer from the Quantico brig to the Leavenworth military prison might produce improvements in Manning’s treatment, his transfer may also be little more than a one-step back, two-steps forward trick played by his jailers. After all, Manning remains an unconvicted prisoner of an entity that sits well beyond legal accountability; his detention is currently interminable; his fate will be determined by his jailers. Moreover, Leavenworth, KS is a bit off the path used by most of those who would criticize, publicize and protest Manning’s treatment.
- Bradley Manning To Be Moved (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Bradley Manning to be moved to new detention centre (yubanet.com)
- Bradley Manning To Be Moved (lezgetreal.com)
- Army Moving Bradley Manning To Fort Leavenworth (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Bradley Manning to be Moved to Pentagon’s Only Maximum Security Prison (fdlaction.firedoglake.com)
- Bradley Manning to be moved to new military prison (go.theregister.com)
- Bradley Manning to get showers and TV (rt.com)
- Wikileaks Suspect Bradley Manning Moving To Medium-Security Prison (businessinsider.com)
- Bradley Manning being moved from Quantico to Fort Leavenworth (quipshots.wordpress.com)
- “Army moving WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning to Leavenworth” and related posts (securitylawbrief.com)