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The London Expat American Meetup Group Message Board › Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,477
UK Attempt Wed night to illegally invade soverien Ecuadorian soil

August 15, 2012 · An Ecuadorian government spokesperson commenting on the threats by the British Government to enter the Embassy said:

“We are deeply shocked by British government’s threats against the sovereignty of the Ecuadorian Embassy and their suggestion that they may forcibly enter the embassy.

This is a clear breach of international law and the protocols set out in the Vienna Convention.

Throughout out the last 56 days Mr. Julian Assange has been in the Embassy, the Ecuadorian Government has acted honourably in all our attempts to seek a resolution to the situation. This stands in stark contrast to the escalation of the British Government today with their threats to breakdown the door of the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Instead of threatening violence against the Ecuadorian Embassy the British Government should use its energy to find a peaceful resolution to this situation which we are aiming to achieve. “
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,479

Julian Assange asylum: Ecuador is right to stand up to the US
The United States would paint itself as a promoter of human rights, but any right to make that claim is long gone­

Ecuador has now made its decision: to grant political asylum to Julian Assange. This comes in the wake of an incident that should dispel remaining doubts about the motives behind the UK/Swedish attempts to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. On Wednesday, the UK government made an unprecedented threat to invade Ecuador's embassy if Assange is not handed over. Such an assault would be so extreme in violating international law and diplomatic conventions that it is difficult to even find an example of a democratic government even making such a threat, let alone carrying it out.

When Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patiño, in an angry and defiant response, released the written threats to the public, the UK government tried to backtrack and say it wasn't a threat to invade the embassy (which is another country's sovereign territory). But what else can we possibly make of this wording from a letter delivered by a British official?

"You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the embassy. We sincerely hope that we do not reach that point, but if you are not capable of resolving this matter of Mr Assange's presence in your premises, this is an open option for us."

Is there anyone in their right mind who believes that the UK government would make such an unprecedented threat if this were just about an ordinary foreign citizen wanted for questioning – not criminal charges or a trial – by a foreign government?

Ecuador's decision to grant political asylum to Assange was both predictable and reasonable. But it is also a ground-breaking case that has considerable historic significance.

First, the merits of the case: Assange clearly has a well-founded fear of persecution if he were to be extradited to Sweden. It is pretty much acknowledged that he would be immediately thrown in jail. Since he is not charged with any crime, and the Swedish government has no legitimate reason to bring him to Sweden, this by itself is a form of persecution.

We can infer that the Swedes have no legitimate reason for the extradition, since they were repeatedly offered the opportunity to question him in the UK, but rejected it, and have also refused to even put forth a reason for this refusal. A few weeks ago the Ecuadorian government offered to allow Assange to be questioned in its London embassy, where Assange has been residing since 19 June, but the Swedish government refused – again without offering a reason. This was an act of bad faith in the negotiating process that has taken place between governments to resolve the situation.

Former Stockholm chief district prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem also made it clear that the Swedish government had no legitimate reason to seek Assange's extradition when he testified that the decision of the Swedish government to extradite Assange is "unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate", because he could be easily questioned in the UK.

But, most importantly, the government of Ecuador agreed with Assange that he had a reasonable fear of a second extradition to the United States, and persecution here for his activities as a journalist. The evidence for this was strong. Some examples: an ongoing investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks in the US; evidence that an indictment had already been prepared; statements by important public officials such as Democratic senator Diane Feinstein that he should be prosecuted for espionage, which carries a potential death penalty or life imprisonment.

Why is this case so significant? It is probably the first time that a citizen fleeing political persecution by the US has been granted political asylum by a democratic government seeking to uphold international human rights conventions. This is a pretty big deal, because for more than 60 years the US has portrayed itself as a proponent of human rights internationally – especially during the cold war. And many people have sought and received asylum in the US.

The idea of the US government as a human rights defender, which was believed mostly in the US and allied countries, was premised on a disregard for the human rights of the victims of US wars and foreign policy, such as the 3 million Vietnamese or more than one million Iraqis who were killed, and millions of others displaced, wounded, or abused because of US actions. That idea – that the US should be judged only on what it does within its borders – is losing support as the world grows more multipolar economically and politically, Washington loses power and influence, and its wars, invasions, and occupations are seen by fewer people as legitimate.

At the same time, over the past decade, the US's own human rights situation has deteriorated. Of course prior to the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, millions of African-Americans in the southern states didn't have the right to vote, and lacked other civil rights – and the consequent international embarrassment was part of what allowed the civil rights movement to succeed. But at least by the end of that decade, the US could be seen as a positive example internally in terms of the rule of law, due process and the protection of civil rights and liberties.

Today, the US claims the legal right to indefinitely detain its citizens; 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. It doesn't help that the US has less than 5% of the world's population but almost a quarter of its prison inmates, many of them victims of a "war on drugs" that is rapidly losing legitimacy in the rest of the world. Assange's successful pursuit of asylum from the US is another blow to Washington's international reputation. At the same time, it shows how important it is to have democratic governments that are independent of the US and – unlike Sweden and the UK – will not collaborate in the persecution of a journalist for the sake of expediency. Hopefully other governments will let the UK know that threats to invade another country's embassy put them outside the bounds of law-abiding nations.

It is interesting to watch pro-Washington journalists and their sources look for self-serving reasons that they can attribute to the government of Ecuador for granting asylum. Correa wants to portray himself as a champion of free speech, they say; or he wants to strike a blow to the US, or put himself forward as an international leader. But this is ridiculous.

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,480

Julian Assange asylum: Ecuador is right to stand up to the US
The United States would paint itself as a promoter of human rights, but any right to make that claim is long gone­


Correa didn't want this mess and it has been a lose-lose situation for him from the beginning. He has suffered increased tension with three countries that are diplomatically important to Ecuador – the US, UK and Sweden. The US is Ecuador's largest trading partner and has several times threatened to cut off trade preferences that support thousands of Ecuadorian jobs. And since most of the major international media has been hostile to Assange from the beginning, they have used the asylum request to attack Ecuador, accusing the government of a "crackdown" on the media at home. As I have noted elsewhere, this is a gross exaggeration and misrepresentation of Ecuador, which has an uncensored media that is mostly opposed to the government. And for most of the world, these misleading news reports are all that they will hear or read about Ecuador for a long time.

Correa made this decision because it was the only ethical thing to do. And any of the independent, democratic governments of South America would have done the same. If only the world's biggest media organisations had the same ethics and commitment to freedom of speech and the press.

Now we will see if the UK government will respect international law and human rights conventions and allow Assange safe passage to Ecuador.

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,481

Assange Extradition Fact Sheet
15 Overlooked Facts About the Assange Extradition Case

1) Julian Assange is not charged with anything in Sweden nor any other country.

[Source: @wikileaks]

2) Julian Assange did not flee Sweden to avoid questioning. He was given permission to leave the country on the 15th September 2010, after remaining 5 weeks in Sweden for the purpose of answering the allegations made against him.

[Source: Undue delay for Julian Assange’s interrogation]

3) The case against Julian Assange was initially dropped, and deemed so weak it could not warrant investigation. After the intervention of a Swedish politician close to American diplomats, it was revived by a different prosecutor. [Source: Why is Julian Assange in jail?]

4) In all instances, the 2 plaintiffs consented to sexual intercourse, which they did not take the initiative to stop: they never expressed non-consent and afterwards declared to not have felt threatened by Julian Assange. [Sources: Swedish Police Report and The offences described in the EAW are not extradition offences]

5) A condom submitted as evidence by complainant AA, who claimed it had been deliberately torn by Julian Assange during sexual intercourse, contains no chromosomal DNA from either the complainant or Julian. [Source: Overlooked evidence in the Assange trial]

6) Text messages exchanged between complainants and their friends contradict the factual allegations in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued for Julian Assange and cast doubt on the allegations.

[Source: Brief to Canberra Meeting of MPs]

7) After the date of the alleged sexual misconduct: a) Complainant AA created then deleted evidence (tweets) indicating she was enjoying Julian Assange’s company; b) AA went as far as suggesting one of her friends (Witness C) should be intimate with Julian as well.

[Sources: AA: The Twitter Trail, Göran Rudling Witness Statement and Police Statement of Witness C]

8) The law firm hired in the Assange investigation is ran by Claes Borgström (politician and legal representative for both plaintiffs) and by former minister Thomas Bodström. Both are members of the Social Democrat Party in Sweden. Bodström is a friend of police interrogator Irmeli Krans, who interrogated complainant SW. [Source: Irmeli Krans: The Facebook Trail]

9) Police interrogator Irmeli Krans is, in turn, friends with the other plaintiff, complainant AA, with whom she has political ties (Social Democrat Party). Krans also breached protocol by commenting negatively about Julian Assange on social media. [Source: Irmeli Krans: The Facebook Trail]

10) Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, refused to provide Julian Assange or his lawyers with information on the allegations against him in writing. This violates the Swedish Code of Procedure (RB 23:18) and the European Convention of Human Rights (article 5), and the EU Fundamental Charter on Human Rights.

Prosecution also refused all voluntary offers for cooperation that fit under Mutual Legal Assistance protocol, such as making use of alternative methods to interview Julian Assange.

[Sources: Fair Trial for Julian Assange? and Abuse of Process: Disproportionate use of EAW and INTERPOL Red Notice]

11) Both the EAW and the Interpol red notice were issued for Julian by Sweden just before WikiLeaks began to publish Cablegate. [Source: Brief to Canberra Meeting of MPs]

12) The allegations against Julian Assange do not constitute an offense in Australia or in the UK. [Source: The offences described in the EAW are not extradition offences]

13) If extradited to Sweden: still without charge, Julian Assange would be held incommunicado and placed under solitary confinement. Pre-trial detention would last for an indefinite period. Trial in Sweden would be held in secret. [Source: Fair Trial for Julian Assange?]

14) The Swedish legal system features lay judges who are appointed because of their political affiliations. They have no formal legal training. [Source: Lay Judges]

15) Sweden has the highest per capita rate of cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights relating to article 6.1 (right to a fair trial). [Source: Fair Trial for Julian Assange?]

Conclusion and References

Julian Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning. According to the law, Julian is not required to be present in the country for the interview to take place. It could instead be conducted using alternative methods, such as a simple phonecall.
On the 13th July 2011, during an extradition appeal hearing, Judges on the case asked why this did not happen:

”Why go through all of this if Mr. Assange offered to be interviewed?”
”Why does judicial corporation not entail… sensible steps to get on with it?”
[Source: 2011-07-13 WikiLeaks Notes]

Prosecution, however, continuously refuses to interview Julian in the UK, insisting he must be extradited to Sweden for interrogation. For this purpose an European Arrest Warrant was issued by Sweden, in disregard for one of its basic restrictions: an EAW is for prosecution purposes only.

The extradition to Sweden insisted upon by prosecution would facilitate subsequent extradition to the US, as Sweden never once denied a US extradition request since 2000. Therefore, the Swedish case against Julian Assange cannot be dissociated from the ongoing US Grand Jury investigation on WikiLeaks. As such, it is extremely important any opinion formed on this specific subject be based on facts.

This list of 15 facts is mostly based on information originally put together by Christine Assange (twitter account: @AssangeC), and it covers crucial aspects about irregularities and political interest in Sweden’s extradition case against Julian Assange. These important details are often ignored or misrepresented by the media.
Another reference document you might wish to read is the briefing note written by WikiLeaks’ legal advisor Jennifer Robinson, a detailed overview of Human Rights concerns regarding Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden:­

And over at you will find a lot more information on this case.

Visit the Action page to know what you can do to support Julian Assange:


To make a donation to the Julian Assange Defence Fund:


Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,484
Watch me on Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera becomes more like Ricki Lake: Total hatchet job: I was attacked by both guests AND the presenter, no fair right of reply- I walked out

In what's been described as his Evita Peron moment, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has criticised everything from the media to global politics, but gave no indication of his future plans.Jane Dutton speaks to Khawar Qureshi, Douglas Murray & Anthony Timmons.


Both Lawyers even tough they are professional lawyers they don't seem to know the details on the allegations on assange, anyone who looks a little bit into it will know there is no case there and there is absolutely no reason to extradite assange to sweden just to discuss with him those allegations, when they could have that done in the UK itself.

it is so blatantly obvious what is happening how can Aljazeera find two clueless professionals to give their misinformed opionions like those two
Darwin Ranzone 3 days ago 17

has al jazeera lost it's impartiality. listening to rubbish helps no one. except maybe the murderers and torturers that run america.
bvrcrap56 3 days ago 16

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,485

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,486


Last week veterans in Oakland, Portland, and Los Angeles, and at some recruiting centers in Las Vegas and Seattle, demanded that President Obama retract and apologize remarks he made in which he said Bradley Manning “broke the law.” Here is video from Portland showing protesters braving 100 degree heat at five different army recruiting locations. Later in the afternoon protesters from all the recruiting locations marched and converged on the Obama campaign headquarters where several sat peacefully in civil disobedience while waiting to be arrested.

In all five were arrested, including 75 year old Nan Wigmore a passionate activist who had also attended recent Nato protests in Chicago

"In terms of organisational loyalty, I feel that you should also be
aware that Anthony is not a supporter of Barack Obama's. He has
routinely been critical of Obama, and sees it as his function to be a voice of opposition to an individual he considers a "corporate sell
out". My own view of this organisation is different, I see it as our
role to support the President and our Democrats in Congress, and to
deliver Barack Obama's agenda."

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,489
WikiLeaks 2012 Documentary. Assange: Sex, Lies & Sweden
The citizens of Britain and Sweden have a rare opportunity to make a stand for free speech on behalf of the entire globe­­

"Documentary Broadcast Monday 23rd July 2012. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
When Julian Assange arrived in Sweden in August 2010 he was greeted like a conquering hero. But within weeks there was a warrant out for his arrest and he was being investigated for rape and sexual molestation. Today he is taking sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, arguing he won't receive justice if he's taken to Sweden and that US authorities are building a case for his extradition.

Next, Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler examines in detail what happened in those crucial weeks while Julian Assange was in Sweden. What was the nature of his relationship with the two women who claim he assaulted them? And what did they tell police that led the authorities to seek his arrest?

Both Assange and his supporters believe the attempt by authorities to force his return to Sweden is simply the first step in a plan to see him extradited to the United States.

"Sweden has frankly always been the United States' lapdog and it's not a matter we're particularly proud of." Assange supporter

Four Corners looks at claims the United States is working hard to unearth evidence that would lead to a charge of "conspiracy to commit espionage" being made against Assange - which in turn would be used in his extradition from Sweden. The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange's supporters across the globe - including his Australian lawyer - and the FBI's attempts to convince some to give evidence against him.

Filmmakers Oliver Stone and Michael Moore:­

"We urge the people of Britain and Sweden to demand that their governments answer some basic questions: Why do the Swedish authorities refuse to question Mr. Assange in London? And why can neither government promise that Mr. Assange will not be extradited to the United States? The citizens of Britain and Sweden have a rare opportunity to make a stand for free speech on behalf of the entire globe."­ . The actual statements. Have a read. It seems it was not the intention of one of the complainants to have a prosecution of Assange. It seems she wanted him to have a HIV test as contracting HIV was the primary concern. She was also unaware that what had happened was classed as rape until told, as an adult one would hope that that distinction is clear.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,490
The threat of entry of sovereign Ecuadorian territory by the Met police is disgusting
Ecuador is NOT a colony of the UK­

Foreign ministers from the American continent have urged Britain to peacefully end the stand-off over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange, who is wanted in Sweden for a blood test, has been granted political asylum by the South American country and spent the last two months holed up in its London embassy.

The UK government has made it clear the Australian activist will be arrested and extradited if he steps outside the building after jumping bail.

Ecuador also claims that Britain has threatened to storm the embassy and detain 41-year-old Assange in a move that would violate diplomatic conventions.

The Organisation of American States (OAS) met in Washington to discuss the situation and passed a motion backing the "inviolability of diplomatic missions". Senior officials from the 34-member bloc also urged the two sides to continue a dialogue to resolve the row.

The UK government has warned that it can legally enter the embassy and arrest Mr Assange under the 1987 Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act, but Foreign Secretary William Hague has said there is no intention to "storm" the embassy, but there is a martial law police station set up in the building.

Britain's determination to arrest the WikiLeaks founder was laid bare by a document that revealed police had been told to detain him "under all circumstances" if he steps outside the embassy. The paper, captured by Press Association photographer Lewis Whyld, was recorded at a briefing and appears to order officers to make the arrest if Mr Assange attempts to leave in a diplomatic bag or vehicle.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The document is one officer's notes from a briefing. Our objective is to arrest Julian Assange for breach of bail. Under no circumstances would any arrest be made which was in breach of diplomatic immunity."

Mr Assange is refusing to travel to Scandinavia amid fears he will be extradited to the United States over his controversial website. Ecuador granted the Australian political asylum last week.

Ecuador's president has said the diplomatic row "could be ended tomorrow" if Britain gave the activist safe passage to South America. Rafael Correa said: "This could end tomorrow if the UK grants safe passage, or it could go on for months and years if Mr Assange can't leave the embassy of Ecuador in London."
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,491
The threat of entry of sovereign Ecuadorian territory by the Met police is disgusting
Ecuador is NOT a colony of the UK­

American states back Ecuador over Assange
News: OAS backs Ecuador, urges dialogue over Assange

I was one of three activist to personaly witness last wendesdays assault on the Ecuadorian embassy by 60 Met Police officers.

At 21:30 Quinto announced there was NO announcement, At 22:00 The diplomatic police were withdrawn and 8 police vans pulled up FULL of coppers from TSG branch- the bully boys who murdered Ian Thomlinson. The TSG lined up 3 abreast and marched into the building housing the Embassy.

We have seen shift changes but no onmass departure of the police. There has been 11 police vans kept in the area, as well as "Eurocar" rented vehicles. I can assure you the Ecuadorian embassy finds this police presence a real threat to it's sovereignty.

The solidarity shown in the call out between UK and Ecuadorian people is fabulous!

We demand an immediate withdraw of all TSG officers, and a closure of the Martial law police station housed in the same building as the Embassy; a return to the Diplomatic police or none at all. Safe passage to the airport if they chose to and respect for the sovereign decisions of Ecuador.

WASHINGTON: The Organization of American States declared "solidarity and support" for Ecuador in its dispute with Britain over granting asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The meeting of the Americas bloc was convened at Ecuador's request to consider a resolution rejecting any attempt to put at risk the "inviolability" of its embassy in London, where Assange is holed up.

In the resolution, foreign ministers and representatives of the 34-member regional body rejected "any attempt that might put at risk the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions."

The text, adopted by consensus after five hours of arduous negotiations in Washington, also expressed "solidarity and support for the government of the Republic of Ecuador."

It urged Ecuador and Britain to "continue to engage in dialogue in order to settle their current differences in accordance with international law, taking into account the statements made recently by authorities of both governments."

Reservations about the resolution were expressed in footnotes by the United States and Canada, OAS members who are also firm British allies.

The diplomatic confrontation over Assange, who has been staying at the Ecuadoran mission since June 19, reached a new pitch last week after Quito announced it was granting the 41-year-old Australian activist asylum.

Correa expressed relief at receiving assurances from London on Thursday that ruled out the possibility of British authorities forcibly entering his country's embassy.

"While it is clear that there was a threat, we understand this message as a retraction of that threat, which we welcome with joy," Correa said in an address broadcast on national television and radio.

Britain's permanent observer to the OAS, Philip Barton, echoed London's statement that it never threatened to enter the Ecuadoran embassy.

"At no time did the UK make any threat against the embassy of Ecuador," he said, calling for a resumption of dialogue.

"We invite the government of Ecuador to resume as early as possible the constructive discussion we've held on this matter to date."

Speaking to the British newspaper The Guardian, Correa insisted that "the window of dialogue has never been closed."

"But we are never going to give up our principles, nor the human rights of Mr Assange," he added.

"As a consequence, we'll continue to demand what we've been demanding from the beginning: if Mr Assange goes to Sweden to face Swedish justice, as is his will and as is our will, he should receive a guarantee that he will not be extradited to a third country."

Correa repeated his demand that London grant Assange "safe passage" to exit the embassy.

Assange took refuge there to escape extradition to Sweden, where he is sought for questioning about sex assault allegations.

He claims that if extradited to Sweden, he would be handed over to the United States, where he fears prosecution over WikiLeaks' release of a vast cache of confidential US government files.

Ecuador is demanding a "public apology" from Britain for allegedly threatening to enter the Ecuadoran embassy in London to arrest Assange.

During the OAS debate, Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino condemned Britain for what he called the "assault on our sovereignty."

While Britain has said it will not go into the embassy to arrest Assange, it has refused to grant the Australian national safe conduct out of the country.
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