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UK Government to force entry to Ecuadorean Embassy?

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  • Rothgo
    Champion of the Unbalanced
    • Aug 2006
    • 6658

    #16
    It seems to be a common malaise that nobody is particularly proud of their governments. That commonality rather suggests that the means of forming them isn't working very well, if at all.

    Personally, I think its our fault - if we keep voting <insert party>, regardless of what the candidate and/or the party does - then it's our fault when they stop giving a shit what we think.

    And yes, that does mean voting for "the other guy" or, as I've started doing, spoiling my ballot paper with the reason why none of them were worthy of a vote. With a spoilt paper, they know I was prepared to go to the ballot box just to tell them to sod off (and thus, were somebody to throw me a bone, that's a vote they could potentially get).

    Comment

    • Robin
      Citizen of Tanelorn
      • Apr 2011
      • 235

      #17
      Originally posted by opaloka View Post
      Still shouldn't assume the girls are lying just becuase Assange enjoys culture hero status and annoys the USA gov.
      I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression - I don't think the women were lying. They didn't allege rape, they said the sex was consensual and only wanted to know if Assange could be forced to take an AIDS test.

      It's hard to find out exactly what their complaint was - I got the impression that it was the fact he didn't use condoms (and that there were two of them) that worried them. If that is the case, their concerns seem perfectly legitimate. But it seems like he's not been accused of anything that would be a crime at all in the UK (which date rape certainly would be) or even anything that's a serious crime in Sweden.

      That's why I can't see the case ever going to court - I can't see him ever being charged at all, it looks just like a pretext to get him to Sweden.

      I agree entirely with the point about the media turning on people, it's just the timing of it in this case that looks suspicious. The one thing that's certain is that it has diverted attention away from the things that Wikileaks exposed. In that sense, Obabma must be delighted by the way things are working out, especially when there's no direct evidence of any US involvement in it.

      Comment

      • Robin
        Citizen of Tanelorn
        • Apr 2011
        • 235

        #18
        Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
        Personally, I think its our fault - if we keep voting <insert party>, regardless of what the candidate and/or the party does - then it's our fault when they stop giving a shit what we think.
        Cannae argue with that - we get what we deserve.

        I'd like to see a "none of the above" option. And, if none of the above got a majority of votes either nobody should be elected or it should be rerun with all those candidates disqualified from standing. Instead of picking what looks like the least bad option, we should be saying "do I trust this person to represent me?".
        Last edited by Robin; 08-17-2012, 11:09 AM.

        Comment

        • Rothgo
          Champion of the Unbalanced
          • Aug 2006
          • 6658

          #19
          Spoiling your paper is essentially "none of the above" - but with extra kudos!
          Do consider its use if the alternative is not turning up.

          Comment

          • opaloka
            digital serf 41221z/74
            • Jun 2006
            • 3746

            #20
            There are ways 'regular' people can get involved in the process long before they 'just vote'. That's how the radical right candidates are being selected by the GOP over more normal Republicans. There are at least two ways in the US, you can vote in primaries, or actively get candidates (or would be candidates) to take up your pet issues. There are all kinds of organizations that do that. All that stuff takes time and energy beyond what most people are willing to do.

            A representative Democracy is imperfect but it is still a Democracy, and IMO what they say is true - in a Democracy you get the government you deserve.

            Comment

            • Heresiologist
              Mothra Worshipper
              • Jan 2012
              • 1009

              #21
              Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
              While it's fashionable to see Britain/Sweden as the bully boys in this affair (or, more properly, the bully boy's poodles), let's remind ourselves of who Assange has gotten into bed with:

              Human Rights in Ecuador
              • Corruption, inefficiency, and political influence have plagued the Ecuadorian judiciary for many years. In a referendum held in 2011, President Rafael Correa obtained a popular mandate for constitutional reforms that could significantly increase government powers to constrain media and influence the appointment and dismissal of judges.
              • Ecuador’s laws restrict freedom of expression, and government officials, including Correa, use these laws against his critics. Those involved in protests marred by violence may be prosecuted on inflated and inappropriate ‘terrorism’ charges.
              • Impunity for police abuses is widespread and perpetrators of murders often attributed to a “settling of accounts” between criminal gangs are rarely prosecuted and convicted.
                2012 World Report Chapter
              http://www.hrw.org/americas/ecuador
              I'm not sure it's as straightforward as it seems.
              Assange and Correa then discuss the media.

              Correa states that when he took office, five out of seven privately-owned television channels in Ecuador were run by bankers. He says that they are merely using the guise of journalism to interfere in politics and to destabilize governments, for fear of losing power.

              ...

              When Wikileaks cables became available to the press, Ecuador's media chose not to publish them. Correa says that the reason is that the cables affect the media itself - “for instance, disputes amongst information and news groups”.

              He stated that to avoid being discredited, “they reached an agreement not to air their dirty linen in public.”

              Correa explains that he was taken hostage in 2010 in an attempted coup d'etat. He says that after this, he launched a controversial counter-offensive against Ecuador's media, who he says are responsible. He also held the U.S. responsible for the coup.

              The western press dubbed his actions a “crackdown on media freedom” and “elimination of opposition”
              http://digitaljournal.com/article/325277

              Certain segments of the media were involved with the recent coup in Honduras and the failed coup in Venezuela. It seems to be part of the playbook for Latin American coups. So it wouldn't surprise me if Correa's allegation has some truth to it. Additionally, I'd note that the post-coup crackdown on left of centre (and centre, for that matter) media in Hondura seems much much worse than anything suffered in Ecuador (or Venezuela for that matter).

              I'm for freedom of the press, but I suppose there are limits, or at least boundaries beyond which backlash is to be expected. Using the media as an institution to support violent overthrow or destablization of elected governments seems to cross a line.
              But critics who believe Correa’s press crackdown should give Assange pause fail to realize that both men abhor media corruption, especially the complicity of mass media with governmental and financial interests and pressures. Opposing a free press seems to be a vile act. But opposing a Murdoch-like press, itself a vile species, much less so. Quoth A.J. Liebling: “Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one,” aka the one percent.
              http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/...cuador-julian/

              I'll leave off digging around for criticisms of HRW for sometimes seeming like an instrument, or enabler, of Western foreign policy.
              Last edited by Heresiologist; 08-17-2012, 01:40 PM.

              Comment

              • Nathaniel
                Champion of the Balance
                • Nov 2006
                • 1989

                #22
                @Robin. My sources of information are only websites, but the description of events you give does not match my understanding of them. My understanding is that in at least one of the cases the young lady withdrew consent, but didn't "fight him off" because things had already gone too far. That actually would constitute rape in a lot of places (lets ignore chance of conviction, that is a seperate problem rather than a defence)

                A seperate question is that I see a lot of people (not here necissarily) talk as if the second Assange's litle toe is inside Sweden, he will be instantly teleported to guantanimo bay. What is the basis for this belief? from what I have been able to find, Sweden only alows for extradition to a third country with the consent of the origional extraditing country (Brittain in this case) and only for the crime they were origionally extradicted for. Am I missing or misunderstandign something?
                Last edited by Nathaniel; 08-17-2012, 06:18 PM.

                Comment

                • zlogdan
                  Hex data reader and professional pawn
                  • Mar 2012
                  • 1931

                  #23
                  In the present case I don't want to get into the merits of Assange, or his crimes, or whatever he had done wrong. Although I have not much appreciation of our pseudo-socialistic Latin American nations, I however respect their rights. But given proof that Assange is guilty, it would be perfectly normal to request his extradition.

                  I can tell you about something that happened here in Brazil. A convicted, Italian terrorist, murderer called cesare batistuti got asylum from our former President because he and other key persons in our government are "pals". To this date, this criminal is living free here while in Italy he is a convicted criminal. As always, we do our best to look stupid to the folks out of Brazil.
                  "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
                  "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

                  Comment

                  • Robin
                    Citizen of Tanelorn
                    • Apr 2011
                    • 235

                    #24
                    Originally posted by Nathaniel View Post
                    @Robin. My sources of information are only websites, but the description of events you give does not match my understanding of them.
                    As I said earlier, I found it very difficult to find accurate information on this - the quotation I used about the women having both said the sex was consensual came from an interview John Pilger gave to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter :

                    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/94...e-is-important

                    Comment

                    • Nathaniel
                      Champion of the Balance
                      • Nov 2006
                      • 1989

                      #25
                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010...assange-sweden is the most succinct "alternate" view of the charges I have found. This is where I have a bit of trouble, I can't really find any good way of diferentiating the creadibility of the various sources.

                      Comment

                      • Heresiologist
                        Mothra Worshipper
                        • Jan 2012
                        • 1009

                        #26
                        Originally posted by Nathaniel View Post
                        ...
                        A seperate question is that I see a lot of people (not here necissarily) talk as if the second Assange's litle toe is inside Sweden, he will be instantly teleported to guantanimo bay. What is the basis for this belief? from what I have been able to find, Sweden only alows for extradition to a third country with the consent of the origional extraditing country (Brittain in this case) and only for the crime they were origionally extradicted for. Am I missing or misunderstandign something?
                        I heard an interview on the CBC last night where it was mentioned that the following incident is the basis of much concern:
                        Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad Alzery were two Egyptian asylum-seekers who were deported to Egypt from Sweden on December 18, 2001, apparently following a request from the United States Central Intelligence Agency. The forced repatriation was criticised because of the danger of torture and ill treatment, and because the deportation decision was executed the same day without notifying the lawyers of the asylum seekers. The deportation was carried out by American and Egyptian personnel on Swedish ground, with Swedish servicemen apparently as passive onlookers.
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repatri...hammad_al-Zery
                        Last edited by Heresiologist; 08-17-2012, 10:38 PM.

                        Comment

                        • Pietro_Mercurios
                          Eternal Champion
                          • Oct 2004
                          • 5800

                          #27
                          There is another aspect of this case that we haven't considered yet. Assange is Australian.

                          He has dragged Britain into a political row entirely of his own making. Britian has (so far) played everything by the book and ensured that a foreign citizen currently within its borders is treated as the international extradition laws require.

                          In doing so it has had no choice but to allow Assange to stay in Britain until the extradition case has been resolved. Britain could have quite justifiably thrown him straight back to Australia and made them deal with him.

                          In seeking political asylum in a foreign embassy in London he has got Britain involved in a major spat with a number of South American governments, just at the time when Argentina is whipping up anti-British sentiment about the Falklands (and its associated oil rights).

                          The apparent threat to invade the Ecuadorian embassy was clumsy in the extreme but Assange is a major embarrassment to the UK government that they want to get rid of as soon as possible. Publicly there is no choice but to do it by the book, privately William Hague will be seething and will want Assange off his hands and safely tucked up in a Swedish nick, by fair means of foul, as soon as is practicable.

                          Comment

                          • Nathaniel
                            Champion of the Balance
                            • Nov 2006
                            • 1989

                            #28
                            @Heresiologist
                            Yeah, that makes sense. The bit that makes me wonder is that Sweden has laws that specifically forbid extraditing someone to another country if they have been extradited to sweden (not the case in the example you gave). I might be misunderstanding this of course, relying on a translation after all.

                            A thought does occour to me. At this point, the best result from a conspiritorial point of view would actually be to have Assange taken to Sweden, given a plea bargain to something very minor, find him guilty and given a $500 fine and then release him on his way. Would make it look as though it was only ever about the sexual misconduct from Sweden'd viewpoint, and make all his legal protests and other shenanagins look like the actions of a petulant child, totally removing any credibility he could ever have.

                            This is pure hypothesising of course, only makes any sense on the assumption that the charges/investigation is purely political (an assumption I am not willing to make).

                            Comment

                            • Heresiologist
                              Mothra Worshipper
                              • Jan 2012
                              • 1009

                              #29
                              Originally posted by porcus_volans View Post
                              There is another aspect of this case that we haven't considered yet. Assange is Australian.

                              ...
                              I think it's got something to do with reports like this:
                              The Gillard government in February passed legislation making it impossible for Assange, had he succeeded in defeating Swedish efforts to extradite him from Britain, to return to Australia and avoid a future extradition request from the US.
                              ...
                              My old employer, the Sydney Morning Herald, using Australia’s freedom of information law, obtained some diplomatic cables showing that the Australian government in Canberra has been working in concert with the Obama administration in the US to facilitate US prosecution of Assange as a spy. The Sydney Morning Herald also reports that the Australian government has taken steps to prevent further release of its diplomatic correspondence with the US regarding the Assange case.
                              http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/...en-journalist/

                              Gah... I don't know why I know about all these other viewpoints I haven't followed the case with any particular attention. I thought the dissident OpenLeaks people were supposed to be carrying the cause forward by now. Seems the shadowy "no leaks but those we've vetted" people have prevailed.
                              Last edited by Heresiologist; 08-17-2012, 11:07 PM.

                              Comment

                              • Pietro_Mercurios
                                Eternal Champion
                                • Oct 2004
                                • 5800

                                #30
                                Blimey H. Talk about washing your hands of a problem. The Aussies appear to have gone to the trouble of changing their laws so that he can never be their problem again.

                                I bet William Hague wished he'd thought of that.

                                Comment

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