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Author Topic: Wikileaks - Julian Assange Granted Asylum by Ecuador  (Read 6922 times)
Renegade
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« on: August 16, 2012, 03:53:51 PM »

It seems the online world is spilling over into RL in ways none of us would have imagined a few years ago.

http://readersupportednew...asylum-defying-uk-threats

Quote
The Ecuadorian government announced on Thursday that it will grant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum, defying threats from the UK government that British authorities would forcibly seize Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy if Ecuador granted Assange's request.

In a word. Wow.  ohmy

Publish some documents online and expose war crimes.
Get put under house arrest.
End up seeking asylum.
Have UK threaten to storm Ecuadorian embassy.

You just can't make this up.
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f0dder
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 04:34:23 PM »

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 04:45:19 PM »

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

But...They mostly come at night....mostly!
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 04:50:47 PM »

It's not a Cold War anymore, but a Bold War...


Saddening, really. Sad
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 05:16:08 PM »

Never knew the bulldog made such a good lapdog.  Wink
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 05:32:46 PM »

Quote
Assange is not, in fact, accused of political crimes. He is being sought for questioning in Sweden on rape and coercion allegations stemming from separate sexual relations he had with two women in that country in August 2010. One woman told police that Assange pinned her down to have sex with her and that she suspected he intentionally tore a condom he wore. The second woman reported that he had sex with her while she was initially asleep, failing to wear a condom despite repeated requests for him to do so. Assange has denied any wrongdoing, asserting that the sex in both cases was consensual.

Kind of an important point in this story...
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 06:07:06 PM »

Quote
Assange is not, in fact, accused of political crimes. He is being sought for questioning in Sweden on rape and coercion allegations stemming from separate sexual relations he had with two women in that country in August 2010. One woman told police that Assange pinned her down to have sex with her and that she suspected he intentionally tore a condom he wore. The second woman reported that he had sex with her while she was initially asleep, failing to wear a condom despite repeated requests for him to do so. Assange has denied any wrongdoing, asserting that the sex in both cases was consensual.

Kind of an important point in this story...
You might want to read up on the rest of that story, though.

Then you might wonder a bit why the questioning has to be done in Sweden, especially considering there isn't a case against him yet (well, at least there wasn't back when this all started - they just wanted to "question him"). And then you might want to ponder a bit why Sweden in particular is involved in this (hint: the words "extradition" and "USA" comes to mind).
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 06:40:32 PM »

Quote
Assange is not, in fact, accused of political crimes. He is being sought for questioning in Sweden on rape and coercion allegations stemming from separate sexual relations he had with two women in that country in August 2010. One woman told police that Assange pinned her down to have sex with her and that she suspected he intentionally tore a condom he wore. The second woman reported that he had sex with her while she was initially asleep, failing to wear a condom despite repeated requests for him to do so. Assange has denied any wrongdoing, asserting that the sex in both cases was consensual.

Kind of an important point in this story...
You might want to read up on the rest of that story, though.

Then you might wonder a bit why the questioning has to be done in Sweden, especially considering there isn't a case against him yet (well, at least there wasn't back when this all started - they just wanted to "question him"). And then you might want to ponder a bit why Sweden in particular is involved in this (hint: the words "extradition" and "USA" comes to mind).

I don't dispute this, I just hate the fact that news outlets choose not to highlight this lol
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 07:10:17 PM »

Considering the happiness with which the UK hand over its own citizens to the USA, I don't know why he should be so concerned about Sweden Wink
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f0dder
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 02:10:49 AM »

Quote
Assange is not, in fact, accused of political crimes. He is being sought for questioning in Sweden on rape and coercion allegations stemming from separate sexual relations he had with two women in that country in August 2010. One woman told police that Assange pinned her down to have sex with her and that she suspected he intentionally tore a condom he wore. The second woman reported that he had sex with her while she was initially asleep, failing to wear a condom despite repeated requests for him to do so. Assange has denied any wrongdoing, asserting that the sex in both cases was consensual.

Kind of an important point in this story...
You might want to read up on the rest of that story, though.

Then you might wonder a bit why the questioning has to be done in Sweden, especially considering there isn't a case against him yet (well, at least there wasn't back when this all started - they just wanted to "question him"). And then you might want to ponder a bit why Sweden in particular is involved in this (hint: the words "extradition" and "USA" comes to mind).
I don't dispute this, I just hate the fact that news outlets choose not to highlight this lol
Funny, most of the mainstream news outlets I've seen focus on exactly this, without questioning any of the nasty, underhanded things that have been happening.
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wraith808
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 07:48:20 AM »

Interesting article from former CIA man on Assange debacle: 'Not even in Cold War’s darkest days'
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 08:05:43 AM »

I wish the UK and EU countries were always so eager to interrogate and prosecute allegations of rape. They are usually pretty quick to sweep them under the carpet, especially between people who have first had consensual sex (which was the case here).

Now I find it quite possible that Assange has a certain arrogance and lack of attention and that he might miss messages that say "not again" or "not in this way", and that starting again would not be a crime, but refusing to stop would be. But even as a stringent feminist I find it hard to believe that this is all about this.

No country threatens to storm an embassy for a rape, and nobody talks of sending death squads and it being terrorist activity on the topic of condoms.
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wraith808
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 09:09:17 AM »

No country threatens to storm an embassy for a rape

This.

Interesting article from former CIA man on Assange debacle: 'Not even in Cold War’s darkest days'

And thinking about it more, I wonder if the break down in diplomatic actions and language are just a mirror of the breakdown in communication in every other area in current times.  I think in the days of the Cold War, there was an unspoken etiquette between all sides in addition to a lack of a forum for such things, so the idea that a country would have even had to threaten to storm an embassy would never have even occurred because things would never have even gotten this far- a media outlet wouldn't have touched anything like this, and there was no open internet.
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Renegade
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 10:16:51 AM »

Interesting article from former CIA man on Assange debacle: 'Not even in Cold War’s darkest days'

The UK would have to violate at least 2 international treaties and the rule of law to do what they are proposing. I posted about that here. That could be a part of why it wasn't done during the Cold War. The transgression is simply too grave and completely unforgivable, tantamount to an act of war, if not exactly that.

Quote
This was unheard of even during the worst days of the Cold War. If someone sought refuge in the US Embassy in Moscow or the Soviet Embassy in the United States, despite the friction, despite the enmity between those two countries, international law was always honored. This is unprecedented.

The US and the USSR had good reason to avoid war, e.g. the end of existence. smiley UK against Ecuador, not so much...
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40hz
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 10:24:56 AM »


And thinking about it more, I wonder if the break down in diplomatic actions and language are just a mirror of the breakdown in communication in every other area in current times.  I think in the days of the Cold War, there was an unspoken etiquette between all sides

I think that neatly summarizes what's been going on. The United States (along with some other powerful nations that should know better) seem to be abandoning their democratic ideals and respect for the law by taking ever more arbitrary and intrusive unilateral actions whenever they feel their political interests are being threatened. What was once the "intervention" methodology of the old (and often reviled) Soviet Bloc has now spread to the West, largely thanks to the Bush2/Cheney administration and 9/11.

Washington Post's Barton Gellman summarized the Dick Cheney approach to diplomacy in an analysis for PBS/Frontline:

Quote
Dick Cheney always advocated a very strong, edge-of-the-envelope view on executive power...

... Cheney believes that he's a realist and that he is more realistic about the world than most of his adversaries and critics. He believes the world is an immensely dangerous place, that most people underestimate the risks to the security and well being of the United States, and that if you want to face those risks, there's no namby-pamby, legalistic, rule-bound approach that's going to work. If you want to fight the bad guys, you have to take the gloves off.

Apparently Dick Cheney's remark that "the gloves have come off" has been taken to heart and adopted as our new foreign policy.

... in addition to a lack of a forum for such things, so the idea that a country would have even had to threaten to storm an embassy would never have even occurred because things would never have even gotten this far- a media outlet wouldn't have touched anything like this, and there was no open internet.

I politely disagree.  smiley

Back in the day, nobody (including the US) would have dared storm any embassy for fear of what precedent might be set by doing so. Iran was condemned internationally when "students" stormed the US embassy in Tehran in 1979 and took the staff there hostage for 444 days. Even the Iranian government didn't dare claim official responsibility for that move. Which is why the UK is at such pains to find some "legal" way of removing the status of "embassy" from Ecuador's holding before taking any direct action. Because in a nutshell, storming an embassy - any embassy for any reason - is simply not done. That's why there's still the need for posturing and legal wrangling to somehow find a way to make Ecuador's embassy not an embassy.  (Apparently the UK learned a lesson in "power semantics" from the US: When is a POW not a POW? When they're called "enemy combatants." When is torture not 'torture'? When it's called "enhanced interrogation techniques.")

Regarding the press and media outlets: Back in the late 60s and early 70s, the US press was openly confrontational about many actions taken by the US government, as well as being unsparing in its criticism of power grabs and abuses of the legal system by the government. (Please remember that President Nixon was brought down by the press. Something the the Republican Party and a host of paid neo-con pundits have never forgotten - or forgiven.) The same went for the federal courts who viewed a major part of their duty as keeping the government honest and law abiding. All of which was duly watched, reported, and commented on by the press.

Such were the joys of operating in an environment where "freedom of the press" was given more than the lip service it gets today.

Because we've certainly gotten away from all of that nonsense. Amazing what a politically providential terrorist attack and some carefully orchestrated public disinformation and fear-mongering can do to change basic attitudes and understandings.

I think a good part of why the web is becoming increasingly important vector for news gathering is because the corporate-controlled government-friendly media outlets wouldn't normally touch this sort of story. The only thing that seems to be keeping big media honest (at least to a token degree) is that the web provides too many ways to do an end run around the likes of CNN or NBC. (Note: I think the current trend of governments firewalling or otherwise attempting to regulate non-commercial web activity is a good indication of just how real a threat such an open forum poses to The Powers that Be and their Official Version of the story.)

The unfortunate side effect is that this has increased the amount of "noise" in the news signal. However, if it is true that you can't really trust anything you see or read on  the web, the same is becoming increasingly true of the so-called ""free" press. Especially in an era when more and more "representative" governments see "threats to national security" - and the public exposure of news which is often nothing more than politically embarrassing to the government - as one and the same thing.

I don't particular care for Julian Assange's style, or some of  the irresponsible behaviors of Wikileaks. But it's important to remember that things like Wikileaks and "unofficial" news reporting is a symptom of a larger problem rather than the cause of a smaller one.

If you can't trust your governments to tell you the truth - and you can't trust the "free press" to keep you informed - then your only alternative becomes taking matters into your own hands. Wkikileaks is one manifestation of that. And once Assange and Wikileaks gets removed from the stage by hook (or more likely crook) another will take their place.

"So it goes."
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2012, 10:26:36 AM »

And thinking about it more, I wonder if the break down in diplomatic actions and language are just a mirror of the breakdown in communication in every other area in current times.  I think in the days of the Cold War, there was an unspoken etiquette between all sides in addition to a lack of a forum for such things, so the idea that a country would have even had to threaten to storm an embassy would never have even occurred because things would never have even gotten this far- a media outlet wouldn't have touched anything like this, and there was no open internet.

+100 - There seems to be an overall breakdown in respect for ones fellow man. People just walk around being nice in a medically induced politically correct fog ... but no one really seems to respect anything, anyone, or even themselves. It's all just scepter banging and posturing now.
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2012, 10:34:16 AM »

And thinking about it more, I wonder if the break down in diplomatic actions and language are just a mirror of the breakdown in communication in every other area in current times.  I think in the days of the Cold War, there was an unspoken etiquette between all sides in addition to a lack of a forum for such things, so the idea that a country would have even had to threaten to storm an embassy would never have even occurred because things would never have even gotten this far- a media outlet wouldn't have touched anything like this, and there was no open internet.

+100 - There seems to be an overall breakdown in respect for ones fellow man. People just walk around being nice in a medically induced politically correct fog ... but no one really seems to respect anything, anyone, or even themselves. It's all just scepter banging and posturing now.

Amazing what the absence of the Cold War (and the threat of nuclear annihilation) can do for the levels of aggression many governments are now willing to indulge in.
 Wink
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2012, 10:44:23 AM »

And thinking about it more, I wonder if the break down in diplomatic actions and language are just a mirror of the breakdown in communication in every other area in current times.  I think in the days of the Cold War, there was an unspoken etiquette between all sides in addition to a lack of a forum for such things, so the idea that a country would have even had to threaten to storm an embassy would never have even occurred because things would never have even gotten this far- a media outlet wouldn't have touched anything like this, and there was no open internet.

+100 - There seems to be an overall breakdown in respect for ones fellow man. People just walk around being nice in a medically induced politically correct fog ... but no one really seems to respect anything, anyone, or even themselves. It's all just scepter banging and posturing now.

For:

Quote
I think in the days of the Cold War, there was an unspoken etiquette between all sides

I think you're being a bit optimistic.

Regarding:

Quote
There seems to be an overall breakdown in respect for ones fellow man. People just walk around being nice in a medically induced politically correct fog ... but no one really seems to respect anything, anyone, or even themselves. It's all just scepter banging and posturing now.

+1

Which is why the UK is at such pains to find some "legal" way of removing the status of "embassy" from Ecuador's holding before taking any direct action. Because in a nutshell, storming an embassy - any embassy for any reason - is simply not done.

I addressed exactly that here. There is no "legal" way to revoke an embassy like they are proposing. They must give 12 months notice for starters.

Amazing what the absence of the Cold War (and the threat of nuclear annihilation) can do for the levels of aggression many governments are now willing to indulge in.
 Wink

+1

I think this is more about threat levels than respect. One would be hard pressed to find any level of respect in, well, I'll leave it at that and keep this polite. Wink
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2012, 10:58:19 AM »

What was once the "intervention" methodology of the old (and often reviled) Soviet Bloc has now spread to the West, largely thanks to the Bush2/Cheney administration and 9/11.

Remember that until the US was caught, they were doing it too.  Why was their the need for an executive order against the assassination of heads of state?  To a certain extent, I think the Soviet Bloc was taking a page from *our* book, rather than inventing their own.  They were just less subtle about it- and more out of a lack of a need for subtlety than a lack of knowledge of how to be subtle.

Back in the day, nobody (including the US) would have dared storm any embassy for fear of what precedent might be set by doing so.

Right... I don't disagree... That's what I mean by it wouldn't have occurred.  But I still think it wouldn't have gotten to that point.  For all of the confrontational nature of the press of the 60s and 70s, there was still a certain level of trust and pride in the government that doesn't exist these days.  Not that there wasn't confrontation, but over this level of information?  These weren't a smoking gun... and there wasn't the media blitz and the thought that everything needed to be seen.  There was a certain respect for privacy and secrecy as long as it wasn't taken advantage of.  And I really don't think that these communiques even approached that level.

Amazing what the absence of the Cold War (and the threat of nuclear annihilation) can do for the levels of aggression many governments are now willing to indulge in.
 Wink

+1

I think this is more about threat levels than respect. One would be hard pressed to find any level of respect in, well, I'll leave it at that and keep this polite. Wink


Unfortunately, I think you've hit the nail on the head.
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2012, 06:18:14 PM »

Interesting article from former CIA man on Assange debacle: 'Not even in Cold War’s darkest days'
^ Thanks. Very interesting find. Spot-on observations, and Truth.    Thmbsup
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2012, 12:58:06 PM »

Transparency and embarrassment are just *that* threatening, it's worth destroying world treaties, the balance of power and everything over.

 ohmy

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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2012, 05:43:29 AM »

Sweden, the UK, and the US all look like thugs here, with Ecuador and Correa being the only independent democracy with any ethics in the world right now. Obama has laid the groundwork for a surveillance state, which draws suspicion on even mundane actions and uses it against its citizens.

The US claims the legal right to indefinitely detain its citizens (NDAA); the president can order the assassination of a citizen without so much as even a hearing; the government can spy on its citizens without a court order; and its officials are immune from prosecution for war crimes. Correa doesn't want this mess -- it's a lose-lose for Ecuador -- but he's got it thanks to these three corrupt and dishonest governments. Sweden's claims against Assange are bull since they've refused numerous invitations to "question" Assange inside the UK. If you've got a case, charge the man. If not, then make the effort and buy a plane ticket to the UK.
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2012, 07:29:18 AM »

Obama has laid the groundwork for a surveillance state, which draws suspicion on even mundane actions and uses it against its citizens.

Statements like this irk me.  I don't care who's in office (Bush's war) but really, statements like this confirm to me the fact that people *really* don't know how the government works, and don't know/remember the lesson of Andrew Johnson.  Without the support of the Senate *and* the House, at least in part, the President can't do much.  That balance still works.  And so all of them are culpable in whatever happens, and all should be held to the same standard.  He has much responsibility- but not total.  He has the greatest power of any single person in US government- but not total.

Sorry... that just peeves me to no end whenever I hear it...
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« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2012, 09:21:39 AM »

Obama has laid the groundwork for a surveillance state, which draws suspicion on even mundane actions and uses it against its citizens.

Statements like this irk me.  I don't care who's in office (Bush's war) but really, statements like this confirm to me the fact that people *really* don't know how the government works, and don't know/remember the lesson of Andrew Johnson.  Without the support of the Senate *and* the House, at least in part, the President can't do much.  That balance still works.  And so all of them are culpable in whatever happens, and all should be held to the same standard.  He has much responsibility- but not total.  He has the greatest power of any single person in US government- but not total.

Sorry... that just peeves me to no end whenever I hear it...

And it's just how the government wants it. They use the expendable character- the elected president that they can claim we're responsible for choosing as the scapegoat for the messes they make, enabling the behind the scenes crews to get away with murder.

Otherwise they'd have long since made the schools much more efficient at educating the next generation- because that knowledge bleeds through to their parents as well. Somewhere along the line the powers that be have realized that an uneducated mass is easier to control than an educated one, and have been quietly allowing education to fall into decline.

Of course this shows clearly on the internet, where as much as the intellectuals try to explain the situation there are just plain too many under-educated people out there for those of us that know to possibly make a difference in a reasonable timeframe.

And that's just what the government wants. A situation where freedom remains an unattainable illusion, while everyone happily slaves away to corporate taskmasters and accepts whatever is thrown at them without questioning why.
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« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2012, 09:33:40 AM »


Otherwise they'd have long since made the schools much more efficient at educating the next generation- because that knowledge bleeds through to their parents as well. Somewhere along the line the powers that be have realized that an uneducated mass is easier to control than an educated one, and have been quietly allowing education to fall into decline.

Of course this shows clearly on the internet, where as much as the intellectuals try to explain the situation there are just plain too many under-educated people out there for those of us that know to possibly make a difference in a reasonable timeframe.

"can u say that again without all the big words?  ohmy   "  (/satire)
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