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Jul 24, 2012

On Assange, government defiant in face of reality

The government's insistence on ignoring the Obama administration's investigation of Julian Assange is becoming increasingly untenable as public evidence mounts of a grand jury and a continuing campaign by the US government against him.

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The government’s insistence on ignoring the Obama administration’s investigation of Julian Assange is becoming increasingly untenable as public evidence mounts of a grand jury and a continuing campaign by the US government against him.

In a response to a recent letter from Melbourne QC Julian Burnside, acting for Assange, acting Attorney-General Jason Clare refused point blank to respond to direct questions about whether the government had asked the Obama administration if it was conducting an investigation of Assange’s journalism as editor of WikiLeaks. Instead, Clare resorted to the government’s standard line that the US has not laid any charges against Assange.

While the existence of a sealed indictment of Assange remains formally unconfirmed, an investigation of Assange was confirmed by the Obama administration on the public record late last year through an agent giving evidence at the pre-trial hearing of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, currently enduring an almost Kafkaesque military trial in which his ability to call witnesses or raise exculpatory evidence has been severely circumscribed.

On June 30 this year, a Department of Justice spokesman again confirmed that there continues to be an “investigation” into Assange for his journalism. We also know there is a grand jury investigating Assange via several subpoenas, including that of David House, who recently published a transcript of his appearance on June 15, 2011 before the grand jury (much of which is hilarious), based on notes that Department of Justice prosecutor Patrick “phalanx of attorneys” Murphy demanded House stop taking.

And as Crikey recently reported, this year has seen several activists and journalists stopped and interrogated for their connections to Assange (Four Corners followed up some of this last night).

With so much evidence now on the public record of an investigation of Assange for his journalism and of a grand jury process, the Australian government’s refusal to say anything other than a obstinate insistence that no charges have been laid has become a straight refusal to acknowledge reality. Clare’s letter carefully and tightly frames a response to Burnside’s direct questions about whether the government has inquired about the investigation or the grand jury by talking only about the “issue” of whether charges have been laid. “The Minister for Foreign Affairs has raised this issue … The Attorney-General has also raised this issue,” Clare says.

That issue, of course, is a cover for either gross deception by the government as to the advice it has received from the Obama administration, or a wilful blindness as to its intentions.

Clare also clearly states for the first time the government’s belief that there is no grounds for the view that the “temporary surrender” mechanism that exists in a treaty between Sweden and the United States (but not between the UK and the US) has less appeal or procedural rights than standard extradition. Clare says:

“Temporary surrender is not an alternative to extradition but an option for a requested State to interrupt its own legal proceedings or sentence and allow extradition of a person for the duration of criminal proceedings in the country seeking the extradition (hence ‘temporary’). All protections available to the person whose extradition is sought apply equally to an extradition that is a temporary surrender.”

This is a key point in dispute between the Australian government and Assange’s lawyers, who insist there is doubt over whether the Swedish government would be required to observe standard extradition protections for a temporary surrender, or whether Assange could be handed over by Sweden to the United States before he has time to appeal against surrender, given the close relationship between the current Swedish government (with its prime ministerial consultant adviser, one Karl Rove) and the United States. There are many lawyers who agree with the government’s interpretation.

For Assange, however, the stakes are much higher than a mere legal point of difference; it may involve an extended prison sentence for his journalism or even his life.

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153 comments

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153 thoughts on “On Assange, government defiant in face of reality

  1. Karen

    Jimmy, my post at 4.49pm got through. Agree that there is a long way to run before the Americans make a formal application for extradition.

    I don’t think though that anyone, let alone Assange, can be under any illusion that the Americans will forget about this. The Americans do have long memories and are very good at harbouring grudges – two fully staged wars on the back of a terrorist attack on home soil, rounding up potential terrorists at Gitmo, (what was that thing that was said about ripping doors off hinges to find Bin Laden), an irritable relationship with Cuba where sanctions still have not been lifted (you’d think they would have got over that one) etc. etc.

  2. Karen

    @Jimmy 4.54pm – I hope you are right. Your view is a little more optimistic than mine. Anyway, I hope the post gets through.

  3. Owen Gary

    Jimmy,

    Do you really believe Joe public is protected by the”Rule of law”. I would stay off that pixie juice if I were you.

    We are all represented by the “Golden Rule” those with the gold make the rules, & in case you hadn’t notice also break the rules.

  4. Jimmy

    Karen – As far as your concerns regarding the custodial treatment go I would ask why you believe he would be remanded and not released on bail or possibly house arrest, remember that decision is made by the courts not the govt or investigators. Sure the bail my be huge but with the supporters he has I am sure he could raise it.

    And Manning and Hicks are/were under a different judicial system to what Assange could possibly face.

    And I suppose my over riding point of view would be that while it is “possible” the US could charge him and “possible” Sweden could extradite him after and “possible” that he could be remanded in custody and “possible” that he could be mistreated in custody and “possible” the Australian govt would do nothing to assist, the possibility of all those possibles happening has to be reduced.

    And even if it does occur the only one that would amount to “persecution” would be the final 2, the rest are legal, reasonable and I would suggest forseeable consequences of his actions.

  5. Jimmy

    Karen – Again I look forward to seeing the post but if the evidence isn’t strong then he can make his case in court. As I have said before I don’t think there is a better country in the world to mount a “freedom of speech” defence.

  6. Karen

    @Jimmy – sigh, another comment in moderation – it relates to the state of the evidence to support a charge to secure US extradition and whether Assange will be treated fairly once on US soil (this is what I suspect a lot of the posters here are expressing their concerns about)

  7. Karen

    @ Jimmy – the only concern I have is that the US may still charge Assange on fairly flimsy evidence, assuming he beats the Swedish charges. Sweden, given its behaviour to date with respect to its, arguably, weak prosecution against Assange, will in all likelihood hand him over no matter what the state of the espionage evidence, if what’s alleged in the 4 Corners programme is anything to go by.

    The other issue is to what extent can the US be trusted to play fair with Assange in terms of his custodial arrangements in the event of successful extradition. Will he be put in solitary confinement on potentially flimsy charges? There would be sufficient motive for the US to do this, if it believes that by applying psychological pressure it might secure an admission from Assange. Look what is happening to Manning. Look what happened to Hicks, another miscreant in the eyes of the US. He only got out of Gitmo because he agreed to plead to a constructed charge.

    In addition, can the US be trusted to expedite the prosecution against Assange? If the evidence against Assange is flimsy, or for other punitive reasons, the US might drag the chain, in order to continue to gather evidence to buttress its case. Who is going to complain – the Australian government? The British Government? Unless there is huge political pressure which starts to build from places like Get Up and other organisations in this country, this government will simply allow things to slide. And in the event of an Abbott victory, you can forget it.

  8. Jimmy

    Karen – Thanks for the post – great to see some actual facts rather than the “it’s happened before” argument.

    So he can only be extradited to the US from Sweden if the US charge, gee who has said that before? Oh that’s right me!

    And he can challenge that extradition in Sweden – that sounds familiar too!

    And the US do have the right to charge him if they find enough evidence and in the US he will be able to defend the charges.

    So where is the abuse of process and persecution again!!

  9. Gary Johnson

    “.. If you used any words with an l.i or l.y or something like (ana l)ogy you will generally be blocked…”

    If that’s what you have to do to make a comment, then it’s just too hard. I have now given up trying to make a comment on this discussion board.

    I understand the aspect of commercial realities when there are ” those” who would place law suits against any individual or group of individuals for comments that run counter to the accepted view. But surely it’s an indictment of Free Speech when I can sneak more opinion through the MSM comments section than I can Crikey.

    Give me a Bullock’s Horn over a White Flag any day.

  10. Jimmy

    ustin Martin – “I did however stop repl ying when it became clear that he did not think fairness was important (to me it is our duty to decry unjust laws) and does not seem to think it even possible that the UK has contravened its own laws in its appl ication of extradition in many cases (which human rights lawyers argue….this isnt the made up ideas of a crikey poster as he attempted to dismiss me as earl ier).” I never said it wasn’t important, but fairness is an objective thing and not really relevant in this case. You might not think the law is fair but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to abide by it.
    And even Dr Smithy has said the UK have “followed procedure” – and yes human rights lawyers have an opinion that the law has been contravened but they made that argument and lost it. It’s not l ike they weren’t heard, they just weren’t ruled to be correct in their view.

    Truth Freedom – “Jimmy I find your blind faith in governments especially the US government very concerning” It’s not the govt’s but the judicial systems that are independent of govt’s I have faith in. And the alleged offenses may be far from what is called r ape in the US, UK or Australia but not in Sweden where they occurred and is where the law appl ies.
    As for being persecuted, I obviousl y have a higher threshold than you, I would expect charges to be laid at the very least before persecution could be alleged and at least some form of miscarriage of justice.

    And again I will ask all those who think me naive to tell me what charge the US could possibl y bring and why they aren’t entitled to bring that charge f they have the evidence.

  11. Jimmy

    ustin Martin – “I did however stop repl ying when it became clear that he did not think fairness was important (to me it is our duty to decry unjust laws) and does not seem to think it even possible that the UK has contravened its own laws in its application of extradition in many cases (which human rights lawyers argue….this isnt the made up ideas of a crikey poster as he attempted to dismiss me as earlier).” I never said it wasn’t important, but fairness is an objective thing and not reall y relevant in this case. You might not think the law is fair but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to abide by it.
    And even Dr Smithy has said the UK have “followed procedure” – and yes human rights lawyers have an opinion that the law has been contravened but they made that argument and lost it. It’s not like they weren’t heard, they just weren’t ruled to be correct in their view.

    Truth Freedom – “Jimmy I find your blind faith in governments especially the US government very concerning” It’s not the govt’s but the judicial systems that are independent of govt’s I have faith in. And the alleged offenses may be far from what is called rape in the US, UK or Australia but not in Sweden where they occurred and is where the law appl ies.
    As for being persecuted, I obviously have a higher threshold than you, I would expect charges to be laid at the very least before persecution could be alleged and at least some form of miscarriage of justice.

    And again I will ask all those who think me naive to tell me what charge the US could possibly bring and why they aren’t entitled to bring that charge f they have the evidence.

  12. Jimmy

    Justin Martin – “I did however stop replying when it became clear that he did not think fairness was important (to me it is our duty to decry unjust laws) and does not seem to think it even possible that the UK has contravened its own laws in its application of extradition in many cases (which human rights lawyers argue….this isnt the made up ideas of a crikey poster as he attempted to dismiss me as earlier).” I never said it wasn’t important, but fairness is an objective thing and not really relevant in this case. You might not think the law is fair but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to abide by it.
    And even Dr Smithy has said the UK have “followed procedure” – and yes human rights lawyers have an opinion that the law has been contravened but they made that argument and lost it. It’s not like they weren’t heard, they just weren’t ruled to be correct in their view.

    Truth Freedom – “Jimmy I find your blind faith in governments especially the US government very concerning” It’s not the govt’s but the judicial systems that are independent of govt’s I have faith in. And the alleged offenses may be far from what is called rape in the US, UK or Australia but not in Sweden where they occurred and is where the law appl ies.
    As for being persecuted, I obviously have a higher threshold than you, I would expect charges to be laid at the very least before persecution could be alleged and at least some form of miscarriage of justice.

    And again I will ask all those who think me naive to tell me what charge the US could possibly bring and why they aren’t entitled to bring that charge f they have the evidence.

  13. Jimmy

    Truth Freedom – From what I have read the ruling isn’t applicable to those already being held in Guantanamo, but as Assange isn’t already there it would apply in this case.

    Harry Rogers – I don’t mind a Cognac (although genereally can’t afford it) but don’t have a leather bound holder. And Assange may well be a test case but what is he going to be charged with to test? For mine unless the US can prove he did more than just publish the documents then he won’t be found guilty of anything and therefore the “test case” will actually be a positive one.

    And if taking a step into life means that I have to see this situation as a conspiracy of govts and a corruption of justice systems before even a charge has been laid and even Dr Smithy admits that to the ” * The UK is following procedure in extraditing Assange” I think it is more a step through the looking glass.

    Karen – I look forward to your post.

  14. Karen

    @Hugh and Jimmy – responses in moderation – I’m referring to an article about the US – Sweden extradition treaty.

  15. Karen

    @Hugh 11.18/Jimmy – googling US-Sweden extradition treaty produced a few links, including a useful article by Afua Hirsch, legal affairs correspondent from the Guardian entitled: “Julian Assange Arrest: How the extradition process works.”

    In summary, the UK police has now activated a European Arrest Warrant (EAW), suggesting that Sweden has formally charged Assange with the alleged offences. So, it looks like Assange is going to face charges, as opposed to a mere investigation.

    Once the Swedes deal with Assange, Assange may stand potentially to be extradited to other countries, including Australia where according to this article the authorities are allegedly investigating him for potential offences committed here.

    Back to the US.

    We all suspect the US would like to skin Assange alive given half the chance. Their alleged treatment of Manning can only be indicative of this. However, the US faces the following obstacles:

    (1) likely charges under the Espionage Act or other legislation protecting national security are not included in the exhaustive list of offences set out in the extradition laws. That said, there is apparently still scope for Sweden to agree to his extradition to the US, even if Assange’s case falls outside the remit of the extradition treaty. In summary, the article implies, as was my initial belief, that some kind of charge must be pending in the US before it can place its meaty hands on him.

    (2) jurisdictional issues as any alleged espionage offence against Assange did not take place in the US. However, entering its computer system remotely, according to the US, constitutes an offence it has jurisdiction to prosecute. This is where Manning and other potential witnesses comes into the picture – conspiracy/joint enterprise to access or obtain classified information etc. As I’ve mentioned before, mere dissemination doesn’t cut it.

    (3) limitations/safeguards to protect people being extradited for “political offences” or where a person has reason to fear persecution for his political beliefs.

    Assuming an international warrant is activated on account of pending US charges, Assange can still argue he is wanted for political offences, which would only work if Sweden is genuinely sympathetic to this argument.

    The question is, to what extent will Sweden accommodate this argument, given its approach with respect to the allegations to date.

    The history, it must be said, is not encouraging – charges were initially dropped due to serious weaknesses the evidence and the reluctance by at least one of the complainants to proceed, and now it appears they have been reinstated. Why?

    This lack of transparency stands to be exacerbated by the fact that the criminal proceedings will be conducted outside of public view because of the laws relating to victim confidentiality.

  16. Harry Rogers

    Jimmy,

    You certainly have them all rattling on this post.

    Not sure whether you believe what you are saying however the fundamental point is obvious and you pedanticly refer to legal points which you are justified in doing so in such a pedantic discusssion as the Assange extradition.

    Can I also be so bold as to suggest you do it from the comfort of you leather bound cognac holder.

    However I cant recall anytime in history where your extrapolations on legal processes saved a human life. While Nero fiddled…

    I think what most debaters are discusssing if the Assange is a test case well…

    Sad fact of life Jimmy is that historically there have been a thousand people tortured and dying while you you debate clearly obvious transgressions of human dignity by governments while the fundamental precursor of justice,( the man in the street) , seeswrong doing.

    Take a step into life Jimmy and leave your ego on the footpath.

  17. Owen Gary

    Jimmy,

    I made a misprint above you are a fool, if you read anything about “Codex Alimentarius” & think it is a conspiracy your already chained to a lemmin, & just to add there is no such thing as a “sovereign state” another perpatrated illusion to please the masses & hide the fact that the planet is governed by a financial cartel (i.e.) the mafia.

    Assange will be used as an example for any future Assange’s, don’t be so naive & wake up mate.

  18. Truth Freedom

    Jimmy you posted above:
    Hugh – “That’s right Jimmy. He finds himself in America, in custody, awaiting charges. He could wait for months, even years.” No he could not, the courts just blocked Obama’s legislation allowing detention with out charge very clearly, they even emphatically responded to a govt inquiry just so there was no confusion.

    Do these new laws apply to Guantanamo Bay or any other US Black Site around the globe?

  19. Truth Freedom

    Jimmy I find your blind faith in governments especially the US government very concerning. You are obviously not going to change your mind even when presented with very good arguments. How you find the time and passion to continue defending the powerful and corrupt of this world is beyond belief. What is it you are defending exactly? you say defending the rule of law but it is quite clear in this case that Assange is not being treated fairly or as a normal person would in the same circumstances. He is only wanted for questioning, extradition and interpol “Red Notice” are usually reserved for serious criminals. He could easily have been interviewed in the UK . If there was a solid case for rape then he would be charged and the situation would be very different. The case was originally thrown out by a swedish judge and re-opened days after wikileaks released the diplomatic cable. The circumstances around the Swedish prosecutors extradition request is quite alarming. Have you even looked into the allegations? The sex was consensual. The alleged offenses are far from what would be considered rape in Australia, the UK or US. You can do the research for yourself but many Australians can see that something is not right here and one of our citizens is being wrongly persecuted. You’re argument is weak and naive.

  20. Owen Gary

    Jimmy,

    They have been monitoring most of our communications since at least the 70’s, the reforms they are currently trying to pass in the current surveillance reforms are just to make it official, so they can actually use it against you in a kangaroo court scenario in the years to come.

    As for me being holed up in a bunker, it’s not my way. The thing to remember is none of us get out alive at the end of the day!!
    While I’m alive I won’t live in fear what a waste of a life that would be, but I echo your sentiments as regards to Assange, I am not mounting an argument against you. People like Smithy are already lost or are actual protagonists for the cause.

  21. Owen Gary

    Hamis,

    At the end of the day it isn’t about money but (Total Control) money is a simple tool for getting it, & capitalism is the fastest way of achieving it.
    I agree with your sentiments though.

  22. Jimmy

    They won’t get you over a cliff will they Owen – To smart for that, you’ll be holed up in your bunker.
    I hope you cover your tracks when posting on here you don’t when them tracking you back and putting you in a hole in Egypt.

  23. Owen Gary

    Jimmy,

    Those who choose to call their mental malasie normal are the 1st lemins over the cliff.

  24. Jimmy

    Yeah Sorry Dr Smithy I do struggle comprehending that the governments of 4 countries justice system of 3 countries has been corrupted by the Anti Assange lobby and a high profile public figure is at risk of being spirited away to Egypt to be kept in a hole for years.

    And how exactly does beli eving that a sovereign state has a right to uphold their laws and an individual has a right to defend himself against prosecution facilitate tyranny?

    By the way any progress on what charge the US could possibly come up with and why they aren’t entitled to prosecute it?

  25. Hamis Hill

    @OWEN GARY “capitalists have an interest to deceive and oppress the public using all means at their disposal to have governments interfere in their favour”. Apparently because increasing wealth among ordinary people reduces profits and hence the amount of money that can be borrowed at high interest rates. It was not Karl Marx who called Owen Gary’s conspirators the “Idle Rich”.
    And they certainly do not want you to read his book, yes, boring old Adam Smith.

  26. drsmithy

    With pleasure at the fury that it will generate in your opponents, I believe JIMMY that you are winning the debate.

    Jimmy is doing a good job making up logical fallacies, broken ana logies and just generally bad arguments, but not so well in actually understanding the important points and why people like him are facilitators of tyranny.

  27. Jimmy

    Dr Smithy- Nah no one on this site is talking conspiracy theories, I mean Owen Gary is just talking ” “actual, demonstrable behaviour”!

  28. Owen Gary

    International treaties & laws mean absolutely nothing, the clandestine group at the top of the food chain are pushing their NWO blueprint day by day. They do not want people releasing information that is exposing their activities & facist reforms on the human race, because we might discover that it isn’t about goverments or countries but rather a group of evil power hungry tyrants who get off on people living in fear.

    I am wondering just how much further the boundaries are pushed before there is real resistance, because to date there is only aquiescence. People who wish to remain in the dark will die in the dark shivering in fear. Rafts of new legislation are being passed that are an attack on the human race including the culling of 6.5 billion people.

    Thing’s like “Codex Alimentarius” are well known in the form the S510 food bill in the US & the 160-2 food bill recently passed in NZ & called the C-36 in Canada. We are being poisoned folks, in our water (sodium fluoride & biological pathogens) food & atmosphere.

    Bee populations have been disappearing in the US after trying to pollinate “Round up ready crops” they die of a cancer related disorder. Beeologics a research firm carried all these studies out & monsantos response was to recently buy out this firm. This is the tip of the iceberg people really need to wake up cause the cancer rate is now 1 in 2 which is in stark contrast to what it was in 1980’s before GMO’s were approved and released.

    We are being culled over the space of a few generations & anyone who exposes them are subject to Assange type justice!!

  29. Lisa

    @Hamis – I am sorry for being such a “Dullard “but you are wrong. It was said tongue in cheek, but if you want to continue being such a sook, then fine.

  30. Jimmy

    Hamis – I hope it is more than stamina that wins a debate but thanks.

  31. Jimmy

    Lisa – If you used any words with an l.i or l.y or something like (ana l)ogy you will generally be blocked.

    As for me shutting up, when people stop ASKING me to defend my opinion I will stop defending it.

  32. Hamis Hill

    With pleasure at the fury that it will generate in your opponents, I believe JIMMY that you are winning the debate. I believe your stamina has driven them into the tactic of personal abuse which, in itself, is an admission of defeat.

  33. Lisa

    All I did was ask Jimmy to shut up ( in a polite manner ) and mentioned the word Echelon…was that it?

  34. Lisa

    Post in moderation, oh dear, oh my…it’s another Yogi Bear.

  35. Jimmy

    Hugh – “That’s right Jimmy. He finds himself in America, in custody, awaiting charges. He could wait for months, even years.” No he could not, the courts just blocked Obama’s legislation allowing detention with out charge very clearly, they even emphatically responded to a govt inquiry just so there was no confusion.

    “Just as Bradley Manning is. Just as David Hicks was.” Is it your contention Assange will be tried in a military court? How? On what charge? Manning and Hicks aren’t the same as Assange.

    And no I don’t think ” it’s OK if Assange ends up in custody in America. You think it’s OK if they hold him while they work out how to mess him up – even if they never charge him with anything.” I don’t think it’s possible.

    ” He cannot challenge the extradition unless and until America decides to let him challenge it. He cannot ask to be returned to Sweden (or the UK or Australia) to challenge the extradition from Sweden” Hugh he would challenge the extradition prior to being extradited, the same as he did in London prior to being extradited to Sweden.

  36. Jimmy

    Dr Smithy – There is “actual, demonstrable behaviour” that planes crash due to pilot error and drunk drivers cause car accidents and I would argue the chances of either of these things happening are greater than the chances of a person being “lent” by Sweden to the US or someone being taken and put in a hole in Egypt (after all how many times has it actually happened) yet you are happy to assume Assange will be subject to those things but aren’t concerned for your safety.

    And if you are that troubled by the baby an a logy why don’t we substitute a teenage boy for the baby, someone who should of known better but clearly didn’t. The damage is still the same as is the suppliers culpability but you feel better about the ana logy.

  37. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Jimmy, you write: “…Igonoring that he would be able to legally challenge the extradition for a moment, what happens when he gets to the US, he is either charged or released.”
    That’s right Jimmy. He finds himself in America, in custody, awaiting charges. He could wait for months, even years. Would he receive consular assistance from Australia? Some Sao biscuits and a cup of tea? He cannot challenge the extradition unless and until America decides to let him challenge it. He cannot ask to be returned to Sweden (or the UK or Australia) to challenge the extradition from Sweden. In fact he is detained at the pleasure of the US for as long as they please. Just as Bradley Manning is. Just as David Hicks was.
    Apparently you think it’s OK if Assange ends up in custody in America. You think it’s OK if they hold him while they work out how to mess him up – even if they never charge him with anything. Even if they eventually let him go. What sort of a justice system would that be?

  38. drsmithy

    So you never get on a plane or drive a car because based on “actual, demonstrable behaviour” the plane will crash or a drunk driver will hit you.

    Wow. First the baby with a gun and now this. Do you have to practice making bad arguments, or is it all natural talent ?

  39. Jimmy

    Also “I do believe they’re a real possibility – once again based on actual, demonstrable behaviour ” So you never get on a plane or drive a car because based on “actual, demonstrable behaviour” the plane will crash or a drunk driver will hit you.

  40. Jimmy

    Dr Smithy – “You absolutely can “not comply with the law”. Indeed, I would argue that you are morally obligated to not comply with an unjust law or an unjust legal system.” If that’s what you beli eve that’s fine, just don’t complain when the consequences of your actions occur.

    “the biggest difference between my “massive assumptions” and yours, is that mine reflect things that have actually been happening for the last decade or so, rather than some naive and idealistic view of what might happen in utopia.” No mine reflect the difference between anonymous citizens and one of the best known well represented people in the world while yours assume because it has happened once it is going to happen again.

    And again no sing of what he could be charged with or why they shouldn’t be able to lay such a charge.

  41. drsmithy

    You make a lot of massive assumptions like he will be held without charge in the US or that he will be charged and refused bail and that he could spend a couple of years in a hole in Egypt or that Sweden will “lend” him in the first place and Australia has announced it will offer essentially zero support . You clearly believe these things are not only likely but a certainty and can happen without Assange having recourse to a legal defence, I do not.

    I have never said they were a certainty.

    I do believe they’re a real possibility – once again based on actual, demonstrable behaviour – and I can not think of any reason someone in Assange’s situation should not assume the worst, especially given the number of unusual and unorthodox events that have occurred during his investigation and detainment.

    The irony of you accusing anyone of making “massive assumptions” is rather staggering, given your own. Of course, the biggest difference between my “massive assumptions” and yours, is that mine reflect things that have actually been happening for the last decade or so, rather than some naive and idealistic view of what might happen in utopia.

    I don’t deny Assange his right to legally defend himself but you can not not comply with the law. He has not been persecuted nor denied justice.

    You absolutely can “not comply with the law”. Indeed, I would argue that you are morally obligated to not comply with an unjust law or an unjust legal system.

  42. Jimmy

    Dr Smithy – You make a lot of massive assumptions like he will be held without charge in the US or that he will be charged and refused bail and that he could spend a couple of years in a hole in Egypt or that Sweden will “lend” him in the first place and Australia has announced it will offer essentially zero support . You clearly believe these things are not only likely but a certainty and can happen without Assange having recourse to a legal defence, I do not.

    As for “You really have trouble understanding why someone might not be prepared to take the risk of history repeating ?” I don’t deny Assange his right to legally defend himself but you can not not comply with the law. He has not been persecuted nor denied justice.

    And in all the posts on this thread and others relating to Assange no one can actually tell me what the US could possibly charge him with or why tehy shouldn’t be able to lay a charge if they have evidence of a crime?

  43. drsmithy

    Even if he can be “lent” to the US, wouldn’t he first have to be charged in Sweden, and when he got to the Us he would have to be charged in order to be held.

    No, he wouldn’t need to be charged in Sweden, which is the concern.

    Once in the US he would eventually need to be charged or released. However, that could take years, during which time anything could happen – and since Australia has announced it will offer essentially zero support, the risk is magnified even more.

    The word if is a bit pretty big one there Hugh, but let’s assume the worst, that Assange is not charged in Sweden but extradited to America without charge.

    Given the demonstrable history of Sweden and the US doing this exact thing it’s not a “big if” at all, it’s a prudent and reasonable assumption.

    If he is charged then the US has to prove it’s case beyond a reasonable doubt and he is entitled to a defence. They don’t just go from extradition to the death penalty.

    And if he spends a couple of years in a hole, or being tortured in some country like Egypt while that plays out ? Like has happened before ? You’re ok with that ? You really have trouble understanding why someone might not be prepared to take the risk of history repeating ?

    Your blind faith and trust is a system demonstrated to be flawed and corrupt is scary, to say the least.

  44. Jimmy

    Hugh – “if Assange is not charged in Sweden but is extradited (or lent) to the US anyway (with or without charges)” The word if is a bit pretty big one there Hugh, but let’s assume the worst, that Assange is not charged in Sweden but extradited to America without charge. Igonoring that he would be able to legally challenge the extradition for a moment, what happens when he gets to the US, he is either charged or released. If he is charged then the US has to prove it’s case beyond a reasonable doubt and he is entitled to a defence. They don’t just go from extradition to the death penalty.

  45. Justin Martin

    @harris hill. I never asked jimmy to shut up either.
    I did however stop replying when it became clear that he did not think fairness was important
    (to me it is our duty to decry unjust laws) and does not seem to think it even possible that the UK has contravened its own laws in its application of extradition in many cases (which human rights lawyers argue….this isnt the made up ideas of a crikey poster as he attempted to dismiss me as earlier).

    His entire premise is that the UK legal system is one of the best and therefore we must accept its legal ruling. I have provided reasons and instances that show this to be false in many legal and human rights experts opinions and appealed to the idea of common sense and got no real response. An unjust or idiotic law applied ‘legally’ should be attacked by all.

    I don’t care for Assange. I care about a legal system similar to ours caving to US extradition ideas that are not the ideas of law we have (or should have in a fair society)

    It’s hardly a battering by other parties…we just can’t get anything other than verbatim responses that don’t address the questions posed in many cases.

  46. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Jimmy, if Assange is not charged in Sweden but is extradited (or lent) to the US anyway (with or without charges) then your whole argument is a steaming pile. Can’t you see that this is exactly the way Assange sees his prospects. There aren’t really any hard and fast rules which guarantee any ‘rights’ to Assange if he is forced to go to Sweden. It is totally out of his control what will happen next.

  47. Jimmy

    Oh and Hugh – He is allowed legal representation in the questioning in Sweden.

  48. Jimmy

    Hugh – “Jimmy, I’ll take the word “yes” in your second sentence as your agreement to the proposition that Assange does not have the right to a defense if there is no charge” Why would you need a defence without a charge? And he has been able to argue his extradition is not legal and if he isn’t charged in Sweden then he can’t be held.

    Dr Smithy – Even if he can be “lent” to the US, wouldn’t he first have to be charged in Sweden, and when he got to the Us he would have to be charged in order to be held.

    Karen – “The trouble is, of course, that the US hasn’t disclosed (and it is not legally obliged to) whether there is such a process on foot or not, which is clearly problematic for Assange.” While that is an issue for Assange it isn’t a sign of foul play, they are entitled to investigate and as you say don’t have to disclose what they are investigating.

  49. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Jimmy, I’ll take the word “yes” in your second sentence as your agreement to the proposition that Assange does not have the right to a defense if there is no charge. Whether he can or will be found guilty is irrelevant because he has been moved against his will without a charge being laid. We have no idea what charge might be laid by Sweden once they have Assange in custody.
    Karen, you say “The Americans can’t have Assange extradited without charge or at least some process in place which involves the issuing of a warrant for his arrest”. Do you think Assange (if he’s in custody in Sweden) would have any input into a Sweden-American extradition? Do you think (as Jimmy seems to) that the US would show its hand at all, even allow Assange to defend himself, with full legal representation, before it had him safely tucked away inside America? I don’t. Assange can be moved from the UK to Sweden without charges and he can be moved from Sweden to the US without charges. That a person can be moved between international jurisdictions without any charges being laid is what is so despicable about the international legal system.

  50. drsmithy

    The Americans can’t have Assange extradited without charge or at least some process in place which involves the issuing of a warrant for his arrest, as I understand it.

    From what I’ve read, the facility exists (“temporary surrender”, or something like that) wherein Assange can be “lent” to the US, by Sweden, outside of normal extradition proceedings (and, hence, legal safeguards).

    This is pretty much the whole crux of the reasoning around opposing extradition to Sweden – that once there he is outside of the protections that would normally be in place with a “standard” extradition (eg: from the UK to the USA).

  51. Karen

    @Hugh (Charlie) McColl – The Americans can’t have Assange extradited without charge or at least some process in place which involves the issuing of a warrant for his arrest, as I understand it. The trouble is, of course, that the US hasn’t disclosed (and it is not legally obliged to) whether there is such a process on foot or not, which is clearly problematic for Assange.

    I agree that one can argue the toss about the quality of the evidence to support a charge of espionage or some related offence concerning the soliciting of information, given the apparent lack of evidence to date.

  52. Jimmy

    Hugh – “Assange does not have the right to a defense if there is no charge.” Yes and he can’t be found guilty either.

    He was entitled to and did appeal the extradition, he lost. If he does get charged he will be able to defend those charges.

    “You see, the question was about EXPATRIATE Iranians – not about gay tourists in Iran breaking Iran’s laws. In other words, do you think it would be reasonable for a country to send an expatriate gay Iranian back to Iran because Iran has a law against homos xuality?” No but that isn’t the situation here is it. Assange isn’t an expatriate Swede or American who broke his home countries law in another country. He is an expatriate Austral ian who is accused of breaking a Swedish law while in Sweden.

  53. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Hamis Hill and Jimmy, at no stage have I asked the man to shut up but still you haven’t answered the question. Look at the question Jimmy. Extradition without charges laid. No charges. Get it? Assange does not have the right to a defense if there is no charge. This particular aspect has nothing to do with the US. It is entirely between the UK and Sweden. Assange has not been charged by Sweden. Do you think that is a reasonable situation to have to negotiate given the penalty if you trip on an unknowable obstacle – or if you discover that the national players, including potential third-party national players, have another set of rules which only apply once they have you in their custody outside the UK?
    Although not my topic I’d like you also to revisit the Iran and homosexuality question put to you by Dr Smithy way back there: “So you’d be in favour of extraditing expatriate homosexuals back to places like Iran?” You see, the question was about EXPATRIATE Iranians – not about gay tourists in Iran breaking Iran’s laws. In other words, do you think it would be reasonable for a country to send an expatriate gay Iranian back to Iran because Iran has a law against homosexuality?

  54. Jimmy

    “Instead of having Jimmy just repeat ad nauseam that he thinks the legal systems of all countries involved are not influenced by politics, I’d prefer that Jimmy explain why the USA has not taken the same approach to Assange (death threats by leaders of Congress, etc) in pursuing the ‘co-releasing party’ which is domiciled on US soil – namely the New York Times. If the secrets came from Manning, then it seems both internationally-based journalists (Assange) and US-based journalists (NYT) were involved in the release of the information. Where’s the equality/fairness?”

    Maybe I wouldn’t have been repeating ad nauseum if I had been asked different questions?

    As to why the USA has not taken a different approach well firstly I would point out that the congress leaders weren’t talking for the USA just as barnaby joyce doesn’t talk for Austral ia but perhaps (And I cna’t imagine to talk for the US here) they bel ieve he did more than just “release information” and if they have that beli ef they are entitled to investigate and if they find evidence the are entitled to test that evidence in a court.

  55. drsmithy

    An a logy’s aren’t meant to be literal.

    Indeed. They are meant to be analogous. Hence the name.

    The point I’m making here is that a baby with a loaded gun is in no way analogous to a well informed adult with a password.

    No, I acknowledge that a sovereign coutry has the right to implement whatever laws they l ike and it is up to the individual visitor to adhere to those laws, whether they agree with them or not. If someone breaks a law with full knowledge they are doing so consequences appl y.

    Assange hasn’t visited the US, and has not been charged with any offense in Sweden (yet alone “broken the law”).

    Well every supporter on here has the US, the UK, Sweden and Australia colluding to have Assange persecuted, hence a 4 country conspiracy.

    You do not need a “conspiracy” for the following to be true:
    * Sweden and the US have colluded in the past to effect extrajudicial processes, and hence it is a reasonable assumption they will do so again.
    * The UK is following procedure in extraditing Assange, even though the extradition request (and even the need for it) itself is suspect.
    * Australia has all but abandoned Assange legally and diplomatically and both politicians and officials have made known and demonstrably inaccurate statements about him in their official capacities.

    OK Times man of the year with a legal team in 4 countries will just be disappeared – the US might want to get him but they aren’t that politicall y dumb.

    What consequences do you think they have reason to fear ? This is the country that’s been running an extrajudicial torture resort for a decade.

  56. Jimmy

    Hugh McColl – My comfort in whether the law being appl ied to Assange is fair or just is not the issue, people on this site are making the argument that Assange is being victimised and denied justice by the might of the US govt, my point is that he has had and will continue to have the same rights as everyone else which include the right to a defence.

    Dr Smithy – “The part you see to be struggling with is where “a baby” and “a well informed adult” are not the same thing.” An a logy’s aren’t meant to be literal.

    “But, implicitl y, you apparentl y wouldn’t have a problem with someone being extradited to I ran because Iran accused them of ho mos xual ity.” No, I acknowledge that a sovereign coutry has the right to implement whatever laws they l ike and it is up to the individual visitor to adhere to those laws, whether they agree with them or not. If someone breaks a law with full knowledge they are doing so consequences appl y.

    “Who said anything about a “four country conspiracy” ?” Well every supporter on here has the US, the UK, Sweden and Australia colluding to have Assange persecuted, hence a 4 country conspiracy.

    “That’s assuming, of course, he even makes it to a civil ian court in the US and doesn’t get spirited away to one of their partners in crime like Egypt.” OK Times man of the year with a legal team in 4 countries will just be disappeared – the US might want to get him but they aren’t that politicall y dumb.

  57. Jimmy

    Hamis Hill – Thanks.

    Hugh McColl – My comfort in whether the law being applied to Assange is fair or just is not the issue, people on this site are making the argument that Assange is being victimised and denied justice by the might of the US govt, my point is that he has had and will continue to have the same rights as everyone else which include the right to a defence.

    Dr Smithy – “The part you see to be struggling with is where “a baby” and “a well informed adult” are not the same thing.” An a logy’s aren’t meant to be literal.

    “But, implicitl y, you apparentl y wouldn’t have a problem with someone being extradited to I ran because Iran accused them of homos xuality.” No, I acknowledge that a sovereign coutry has the right to implement whatever laws they l ike and it is up to the individual visitor to adhere to those laws, whether they agree with them or not. If someone breaks a law with full knowledge they are doing so consequences appl y.

    “Who said anything about a “four country conspiracy” ?” Well every supporter on here has the US, the UK, Sweden and Australia colluding to have Assange persecuted, hence a 4 country conspiracy.

    “That’s assuming, of course, he even makes it to a civil ian court in the US and doesn’t get spirited away to one of their partners in crime like Egypt.” OK Times man of the year with a legal team in 4 countries will just be disappeared – the US might want to get him but they aren’t that politicall y dumb.

  58. Jimmy

    Hamis Hill – Thanks.

    Hugh McColl – My comfort in whether the law being applied to Assange is fair or just is not the issue, people on this site are making the argument that Assange is being victimised and denied justice by the might of the US govt, my point is that he has had and will continue to have the same rights as everyone else which include the right to a defence.

    Dr Smithy – “The part you see to be struggling with is where “a baby” and “a well informed adult” are not the same thing.” Ana logy’s aren’t meant to be literal.

    “But, implicitl y, you apparentl y wouldn’t have a problem with someone being extradited to Iran because Iran accused them of homos xuality.” No, I acknowledge that a sovereign coutry has the right to implement whatever laws they like and it is up to the individual visitor to adhere to those laws, whether they agree with them or not. If someone breaks a law with full knowledge they are doing so consequences appl y.

    “Who said anything about a “four country conspiracy” ?” Well every supporter on here has the US, the UK, Sweden and Australia colluding to have Assange persecuted, hence a 4 country conspiracy.

    “That’s assuming, of course, he even makes it to a civilian court in the US and doesn’t get spirited away to one of their partners in crime like Egypt.” OK Times man of the year with a legal team in 4 countries will just be disappeared – the US might want to get him but they aren’t that politicall y dumb.

  59. Jimmy

    Hamis Hill – Thanks.

    Hugh McColl – My comfort in whether the law being applied to Assange is fair or just is not the issue, people on this site are making the argument that Assange is being victimised and denied justice by the might of the US govt, my point is that he has had and will continue to have the same rights as everyone else which include the right to a defence.

    Dr Smithy – “The part you see to be struggling with is where “a baby” and “a well informed adult” are not the same thing.” Ana logy’s aren’t meant to be literal.

    “But, implicitly, you apparently wouldn’t have a problem with someone being extradited to Iran because Iran accused them of homosexuality.” No, I acknowledge that a sovereign coutry has the right to implement whatever laws they like and it is up to the individual visitor to adhere to those laws, whether they agree with them or not.

    “Who said anything about a “four country conspiracy” ?” Well every supporter on here has the US, the UK, Sweden and Australia colluding to have Assange persecuted, hence a 4 country conspiracy.

    “That’s assuming, of course, he even makes it to a civilian court in the US and doesn’t get spirited away to one of their partners in crime like Egypt.” OK Times man of the year with a legal team in 4 countries will just be disappeared – the US might want to get him but they aren’t that politically dumb.

  60. Graeme Harrison

    @Hamis, you ask how someone becomes ‘a waste of space’?
    I did not make that comment because of the view Jimmy holds – only because of the repetitiveness with which he puts those views.

    Instead of having Jimmy just repeat ad nauseam that he thinks the legal systems of all countries involved are not influenced by politics, I’d prefer that Jimmy explain why the USA has not taken the same approach to Assange (death threats by leaders of Congress, etc) in pursuing the ‘co-releasing party’ which is domiciled on US soil – namely the New York Times. If the secrets came from Manning, then it seems both internationally-based journalists (Assange) and US-based journalists (NYT) were involved in the release of the information. Where’s the equality/fairness?

    And if the US is compliant with all laws, why did it state to Reuters that it had no information on how the Reuters reporter and entourage were killed by a helicopter strike? Jimmy, the world is a rough place, and big people tell lies.

    The silence of the Gillard government on the Assange issue will be historically damning for this period. The US needs allies like Australia, and actually expects them to stand up on issues of importance to them. Howard should have quietly told Bush Jnr that invading Iraq was culturally a bad idea. Sometimes, your friends just have to tell you truths, rather than going along for the ride. A decade on, the US is hated by more peoples around the world for hypocrisy, and how do you think Iraq will look as the West withdraws? The whole experiment was a born-again Christian (Bush) trying to exert his beliefs elsewhere. Bush Snr made the right call by not going to Baghdad. Bush Jnr in refusing to accept the outcomes of the UN weapons inspectors made a bad call by going to Baghdad. And while US politics is fully corrupted by unlimited political donations, the US system of democracy is far from one-man-one-vote – it is more like corporations have a super-vote over the wishes of the people, as money talks. The UK like Iran is one of the few countries in the world where religious leaders have automatic seats in parliament. Until the West has a more representative system of government, it should stop insisting that others follow their lead. Lessons abound in this life.
    Graeme Harrison
    prof at-symbol post.harvard.edu
    Sydney Australia

  61. Hamis Hill

    How, exactly, does a contributor to the debate become “a waste of space” by simply answering questions put to him by others posters?
    Assange’s legal representative at the appeal case indicated a further challenge relating to the European treaties referred to in the judgements. So the appeal is not over.
    Great effort there trying to teach other posters what a debate actually is.

  62. Hamis Hill

    Jimmy you are not a waste of space and should be comended for backing up against all and sundry
    who delude themselves that they have refuted your arguments.
    It does explain why the federal government is reluctant to have this lot unleashed on them.
    Assanges’ legal representative at the appeal case indicated further action concerning the European treaties relating to extradition which were the basis of some of the judgements. So the appeal is not over. The real waste of space is provided by those who are unable to accept Jimmy’s arguments and keep coming back at him for a reply. You attack Jimmy’s views and he just keeps replying to these attacks. And finally you tell him to shut up for repaeting his views.
    A debate or just another cretinous witch hunt against a minority view?

  63. Karen

    @Fool – Assange can be extradited to the US if the US lays an espionage related charge against him. The US is allegedly investigating him in relation to this matter. It has also been alleged that pressure has been placed on Manning by American authorities to see if he will disclose a conspiracy or joint enterprise with Assange to obtain classified information. If Manning cracks and makes such an allegation, the Americans might charge him, in which case they’ll ask Sweden to hand him over once the Swedes have finished with him.

    At present, unless there is further evidence, Assange is no more and no less in any similar position than any other media publisher in disseminating the cables. The dissemination of the cables is not illegal in and of itself.

  64. Dagney_Taggert

    Assange taunted the big dog on the block and surprise surprise, might get bitten. The US may well be preparing charges – if they think there is enough evidence that Assange conspired with a US national to break US law.

    I highly doubt he will face the death IF they seek to extradite him. They have taken that off the table for Manning. Even if they didn’t, the UK will not extradite him to face death.

    You all moan about the big bad US, but who would you rather have in their place? They don’t have a perfect track record, but who really does? Australia just isn’t big enough to make it without allying ourselves to a bigger player.

  65. Graeme Harrison

    Let’s remember the causality of illegal actions. The issue which triggered Bradley Manning and Julian Assange to act was an illegal act by the US government. Under its own laws, the US government was required to disclose how it had killed the Reuters reporter (and others) in that helicopter gunship attack in Iraq. Instead, the US stonewalled, not because there was anything ‘top secret’ about it (ie validly classified), but because it was simply embarrassing to the US to admit it fired upon reporters going about their business, because there was a grouping of five of them, and then that it shot and killed children in a car which stopped to take the injured to hospital. The audio track confirmed that the military personnel saw the inhabitants of the Middle East as something less than the value of an Amercian life. It is was this abuse (killing civilians and cover-up) which needed to see the light of day. I’m sure that if the material was only about the range of a US weapon (say), then Bradley Manning and Assange would have had nil interest in disclosing that fact.

    So, yes, the Australian government should act. It should have put a submission to the Assange extradition case to insist that the Swedes should travel to the UK to ask any questions, OR the Swedes should have give written assurance to UK and Aus that any subsequent extradition from Sweden was off-the-table. And failing this, the silence of our own government is damning.

    However, some years have now passed and notably two things have NOT happened:
    a) Sweden has given no assurances that Assange would be returned to a safe haven (say Australia) after they have dealt with him; and
    b) The USA has been entirely mute on the issue of guarantees that they will not seek his extradition, despite such musings happening in the highest court in the UK.

    To my mind, the Supreme Court of the UK was WRONG in determining that Assange had nothing to fear, as the two parties (countries) who could have put such fears ‘off the table’ by suitable guarantees had intentionally FAILED to do so, depite the court giving them ample time to do so.

    And I am sure the US has a brief prepared to seek extradition of Assange from Sweden. This would have been prepared as a result of the aptly-named ‘Wikileaks Task Force’. As all intelligence groups use acronyms, did anyone really think that an effort named ‘WTF’ would achieve anything?

    Still, the crux will be the US proving that Assange has anything to answer. If Bradley Manning only sent material to Assange while Assange was an overseas reporter, in what way did Assange break any US law that a Swedish court ought recognise? Of course the US will claim that its laws prevail across all countries, but a judge in Sweden’s highest court SHOULD not recognise such nonsense. Moreover, the test of US ‘fairness’ is if the New York Times is put through the same process, as the US-based journalism outlet for the original Wikileaks material. [Jimmy, take note that the US administration has planned no action against the NYT… so you can forget ‘fairness’.]

    Now, if Assange had a clandestine meeting with Manning on US soil, then the US would claim that this did breach US law on US soil… And in lieu of that, the US will claim that Assange had a discussion with Manning using US ‘servers’ or a US ‘telephone system’ and that action puts it within the US legal ambit. Now to the rest of us that is a legal nonsense, but it has precedent.

    For the record, I served as a Harvard Consultant to The White House during the Carter Administration. I have a high regard for US citizens individually, but not for how the various arms of the US government will willingly abuse the legal system, including falsify records, fail to comply with Freedom of Information, fail to recognise habeas corpus, use torture, incarcerate without trial (Gitmo), fail to recognise ICC etc. If the founding fathers were to come back, they would be asking where it all went so wrong.

    And finally, Jimmy, please do not be such a waste of space. We’ve heard your views, and you just keep repeating them.

  66. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Jimmy, again you have avoided confronting the question. You say you are comfortable that Assange has been afforded all his legal rights in the UK and has had every opportunity to appeal and defend himself. I understand that but that is not the question.
    The question is – are you comfortable that a person can be extradited from anywhere to anywhere without charges being laid? That’s it. Nothing else.

  67. drsmithy

    So now you are telling me what I was doing?

    No, I’m telling you what you wrote.

    And the an alogy while extreme still fits, he gave someone all they needed to do damage and while he could argue it was against his expectations I am sure a person who gave a loaded gun to a baby could argue “I didn’t expect they would pull the trigger”.

    The part you see to be struggling with is where “a baby” and “a well informed adult” are not the same thing.

    And the US’s rhetoric has been strong but that doesn’t mean their court system will do their bidding.

    Would you bet your life on it ?

    Sweden and the US do have a history but as the UN has found Sweden acted illegally and forced them to pay compensation the chances of a repeat act are slim, especially someone with the profile of Assange.

    “Chances of a repeat are slim” because the UN slapped them on the wrist once before ?

    I guess that’s why all those countries who have faced the UN’s disapproval have never done the wrong thing since, right ?

    The UN has no power, especially without the US there to act as an enforcer.

    And Manning is facing a military court, Assange will not.

    Assange will be a foreign national facing a system that has been ajusting for a decade or more to minimise the rights of foreign nationals as much as possible.

    That’s assuming, of course, he even makes it to a civilian court in the US and doesn’t get spirited away to one of their partners in crime like Egypt.

    As for legislative changes to give force to intrusions into civil liberties, the use courts just knocked back Obama’s foray into detention without charge, is this the act of a system being dictated to by the govt?

    I take it you’ve not been paying attention for the last decade or so while this sort of legislation has been merrily proposed and passed by Governments across the western world ? Haven’t noticed the recent push in Australia to monitor and retain internet traffic ?

    And on your Iran example while I don’t agree being g y is a crime with it people travelling to Iran need to be aware of the law and the possibilty the could face criminal charges for something not illegal in their own country. I doubt however that extradition would ever be sought unless abuse was being alleged.

    But, implicitly, you apparently wouldn’t have a problem with someone being extradited to Iran because Iran accused them of homosexuality.

    Wow. I think that pretty much says it all.

    And just because I refuse to believe that a 4 country conspiracy is about to unfold does not make me naive, just rational.

    Who said anything about a “four country conspiracy” ?

    The Brits are simply following the rules and honouring an apparently legally valid, if highly unusual in context, extradition request.
    The Swedes and Americans have a demonstrable history of working together to gain extrajudicial access to individuals (important to note: that means outside of the normal extradition processes).
    Australian politicians and officials have publicly called Assange a criminal despite knowing it to be untrue, and all but abandoned him diplomatically and legally.

    These are the events that have already “unfolded”. They do not bode well.

  68. Jimmy

    Hugh – I am comfortable that his extradition is legal and he wasn’t just handed over but was able to contest the extradition.
    “Sweden paying compensation for mistakes in process. Simple. Next time they won’t make the same mistakes. They are hardly likely to discard whole sections of their legal process just because some mistake was made in some particular circumstance” From the 4 corners report this was more than just mistakes in process and it was not in line with their legal process at all, hence the compensation. Someone on 4 corners went as far as to say it was contrary to Sweden’s attitude and culture towards justice. So unless they have managed to actually pass new legislation (which would apparently fly in the face of popular opinion) then I would suggest they a repeat is unlikely.

  69. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Jimmy, back up there at 1.55pm you wrote (including a quote from another poster): “…“In this case the UK is willing to just hand him over to sweden..with no charges laid…so again I say their extradition laws are awful.” NO they didn’t just hand him over, he appealed the extradition more than once and lost the case.”
    There is a particular detail here that you are not attending to. The UK is proposing to extradite Assange to Sweden. The appeals process is over. If Assange is sent to Sweden he will have been extradited without there being any charges laid. Do you support and are you comfortable with an extradition system that does not require charges to be in place?
    Re: Sweden paying compensation for mistakes in process. Simple. Next time they won’t make the same mistakes. They are hardly likely to discard whole sections of their legal process just because some mistake was made in some particular circumstance. Did Australia change its immigration laws or completely abandon them just because there was a stuff-up with the deportation of Ms Solon? No way. Someone took a fall in the Department and next day it was business as usual.

  70. Jimmy

    Justin – “So “when has fairness come into the law”…..since forever…it is the meaning and intent of it.” So owning slaves was fair? Don’t try to say that this sudden lack of fairness in the law is a new found thing it goes back to when the first law was enacted. When Moses came down from the mountain don’t you think there were a few people saying “Though shall not commit adultery, that isn’t fair I love doing that!”

    “You also can’t say ‘if his appeal is upheld then the system works’ if he should never have had to appeal in the first place. What about the costs he incurs, the stress and undue attention.” So what is the alternative we have a system where the correct interpretation of the law is appl ied first time every time and even if you don’t agree with that interpretation you don’t get to appeal. As people are involved in our system and laws are open to interpretation there will always be contentious rulings and the need for appeal.
    ” It matters not how close he skated to infringing some other countries stupid laws…he did nothing wrong in his country and never left his country.” And in this internet age that is the issue isn’t, it is why internet scammers a hard to prosecute but I don’t think saying that countries laws are stupid is a defence. And if his appeal is upheld then yours and his arguement has been heard and seen as the correct one.

    While you you and I might not agree with Karl Rove’s politics to say that there is corruption is a real stretch, and even if there was that doesn’t explain how they got the UK to agree to the extradition.
    Plus Gillards adviser used to work for Blair, does that mean the UK have undue influence over us?

  71. Jimmy

    Justin – “So “when has fairness come into the law”…..since forever…it is the meaning and intent of it.” So owning slaves was fair? Don’t try to say that this sudden lack of fairness in the law is a new found thing it goes back to when the first law was enacted. When Moses came down from the mountain don’t you think there were a few people saying “Though shall not commit adultery, that isn’t fair I love doing that!”

    “You also can’t say ‘if his appeal is upheld then the system works’ if he should never have had to appeal in the first place. What about the costs he incurs, the stress and undue attention.” So what is the alternative we have a system where the correct interpretation of the law is applied first time every time and even if you don’t agree with that interpretation you don’t get to appeal. As people are involved in our system and laws are open to interpretation there will always be contentious rulings and the need for appeal.
    ” It matters not how close he skated to infringing some other countries stupid laws…he did nothing wrong in his country and never left his country.” And in this internet age that is the issue isn’t, it is why internet scammers a hard to prosecute but I don’t think saying that countries laws are stupid is a defence. And if his appeal is upheld then yours and his arguement has been heard and seen as the correct one.

  72. Justin Martin

    Also you asked if I know the US has corrupted the swedish government.
    from the article “given the close relationship between the current Swedish government (with its prime ministerial consultant adviser, one Karl Rove) and the United States. ”

    he has been an advisor since 2010.

    Why not glen beck?…and alan jones?…it wouldn’t be far removed.

    That might not say corruption..but says influence from an unedifying source.

  73. Justin Martin

    I note that you didnt really answer my question..just skirted around it…so you feel it is OK that law isnt fair or just. Even though justice means lawfulness…fairness etc…so “when has fairness come into the law”…..since forever…it is the meaning and intent of it. The fact it doesnt anymore means the law is broken and has abandoned its intention. If you think that fairness does not matter then there is no point discussing the topic.

    You also can’t say ‘if his appeal is upheld then the system works’ if he should never have had to appeal in the first place. What about the costs he incurs, the stress and undue attention.
    What if a particular judge has every appeal against his rulings upheld…do you say yay the system works or do you say thank god we have some cehcks and balances that judge is bad, remove him?
    He did not steal copyrighted material..he is google, or the post office or craigs list. He broke no UK laws and has never been to the USA. It matters not how close he skated to infringing some other countries stupid laws…he did nothing wrong in his country and never left his country.
    How can you extradite someone who broke no laws? how can you extradite someone who has been charged with nothing?

  74. Jimmy

    Dr Smithy – “No, you weren’t, you were making an ana logy of giving a loaded gun to a baby to having a trusted colleague act without your consent (and against your expectations).” So now you are telling me what I was doing? And the an alogy while extreme still fits, he gave someone all they needed to do damage and while he could argue it was against his expectations I am sure a person who gave a loaded gun to a baby could argue “I didn’t expect they would pull the trigger”.

    And the US’s rhetoric has been strong but that doesn’t mean their court system will do their bidding. Sweden and the US do have a history but as the UN has found Sweden acted illegally and forced them to pay compensation the chances of a repeat act are slim, especially someone with the profile of Assange. And Manning is facing a military court, Assange will not.

    As for legislative changes to give force to intrusions into civil liberties, the use courts just knocked back Obama’s foray into detention without charge, is this the act of a system being dictated to by the govt?

    And on your Iran example while I don’t agree being g y is a crime with it people travelling to Iran need to be aware of the law and the possibilty the could face criminal charges for something not illegal in their own country. I doubt however that extradition would ever be sought unless abuse was being alleged.

    And just because I refuse to believe that a 4 country conspiracy is about to unfold does not make me naive, just rational.

    Justin – Fair? Since when has fairness come into the law? And as I pointed out Mr Dwyer extradition is under appeal, if his appeal is upheld (or if the home secretary overturns the original decision) then how can you say the system doesn’t work? The checks and balances would of meant justice was served.

    And While I don’t think it would be particularly fair Mr Dwyer should of known what he was doing was skating very close to the wind and taken the appropriate advice. Anyone who has ever watched a DVD would of known that there was the possibility of copyright infringement and I am confident he acted knowing the risks.

  75. Jimmy

    Dr Smithy – “No, you weren’t, you were making an analogy of giving a loaded gun to a baby to having a trusted colleague act without your consent (and against your expectations).” So now you are telling me what I was doing? And the analogy while extreme still fits, he gave someone all they needed to do damage and while he could argue it was against his expectations I am sure a person who gave a loaded gun to a baby could argue “I didn’t expect they would pull the trigger”.

    And the US’s rhetoric has been strong but that doesn’t mean their court system will do their bidding. Sweden and the US do have a history but as the UN has found Sweden acted illegally and forced them to pay compensation the chances of a repeat act are slim, especially someone with the profile of Assange. And Manning is facing a military court, Assange will not.

    As for legislative changes to give force to intrusions into civil liberties, the use courts just knocked back Obama’s foray into detention without charge, is this the act of a system being dictated to by the govt?

    And on your Iran example while I don’t agree being g y is a crime with it people travelling to Iran need to be aware of the law and the possibilty the could face criminal charges for something not illegal in their own country. I doubt however that extradition would ever be sought unless abuse was being alleged.

    And just because I refuse to believe that a 4 country conspiracy is about to unfold does not make me naive, just rational.

    Justin – Fair? Since when has fairness come into the law? And as I pointed out Mr Dwyer extradition is under appeal, if his appeal is upheld (or if the home secretary overturns the original decision) then how can you say the system doesn’t work? The checks and balances would of meant justice was served.

    And While I don’t think it would be particularly fair Mr Dwyer should of known what he was doing was skating very close to the wind and taken the appropriate advice. Anyone who has ever watched a DVD would of known that there was the possibility of copyright infringement and I am confident he acted knowing the risks.

  76. Fool

    There is one aspect of the whole extradition process that has been baffling me. Can you be extradited for questioning? Surely you should have to be facing charges, actually being arrested for a crime, to be extradited. Assange has not being charged with anything yet!

  77. Justin Martin

    @Jimmy.
    Let’s get off the legal argument then and just answer me this.
    Do you think it is FAIR to extradite someone who has not been charged with anything?
    Do you think it is fair to extradite someone who has not committed a crime in your country and never been to the country seeking his extradition?

    If these actions are not fair, then regardless of the legality you should be against them. There are plenty of laws in countries we deride that are legal but we don’t think are fair or just so we speak out against them.

    The UKs actions regardless of their legality in this instance is certainly not fair or just and therefore is a disgrace.

  78. Justin Martin

    Jimmy “NO they didn’t just hand him over, he appealed the extradition more than once and lost the case.”
    And many people (lawyers and human rights activists) think this action is unlawful…it matters not what the courts find if it contravenes their laws. why do you just presume the judges are infallible (they certainly aren’t) or arent potentially pressured for political reasons? (there is a lot of political pressure in this case..and the O’Dwyer and McKinnon one)

    Yes I would say the swedish government has been corrupted by interests in the USA. They got spooked by the pirate bay issue and seem to have caved to every US demand. Look up copyright demands from USA and sweden and see how they blindly and to their own cost and detriment complied with everything the US wanted. Even implementing education programs in schools and other bizarre requests.

    I’m not claiming to have a better undertanding of the legal system than a bunch of judges. I defer to the lawyers and human rights advocates who have a problem with their rulings. Funnily enough I have not seen a swathe of judges and lawyers supporting their ruling but have seen a pretty long list of experts bashing it.

    How many does it have to beat to be one of the best…for me it has to be one of the top few. For extradition laws its one of the bottom few. Who cares about it’s legal system as a whole…if most is world leading but one part is appalling…you call out the part that is appalling, you don’t say ‘well overall they are pretty good’.

    O’Dwyer is still before the courts because he is appealing…. but he has already lost once…so one judge has already failed. How can you deny his case is black and white? No laws broken in the UK, never visited the USA.

  79. Jimmy

    Oh and Justin you say “rage joe doesn’t have the legal knowledge to understand something they think is obviously corrupt” Do you have evidence of corruption in this case? Do you know that the US has corrupted the UK & Swedish govt’s who in turn have corrupted their own legal systems and the US govt has corrupted it’s own legal system or is htis less obvous than people here have been asserting?

  80. Jimmy

    Justin – “In this case the UK is willing to just hand him over to sweden..with no charges laid…so again I say their extradition laws are awful.” NO they didn’t just hand him over, he appealed the extradition more than once and lost the case.
    “You also can’t just say average joe doesn’t have the legal knowledge to understand something they think is obviously corrupt, and flawed or average joe could never challenge the behaviour of anything.” That isn’t what I am saying, I am saying there are people on here who would have absolutely no idea how the UK legal system worked or on what basis the court ruled the extradition valid but still feel free to claim the ruling is wrong.

    Funnily enough I tend to think a bench of judges might have more understanding of the UK legal system than someone posting on Crikey.

    And on Mr O’Dwyer – his case is still before the courts so until they find against him it is a bit hard to argue the system has failed him yet.

  81. Justin Martin

    @jimmy
    But the UK is handing over a whole bunch of other people…on grounds that often contravene their own laws by the looks of it (It is my understanding the UK has laws prohibiting them from extraditing people in instances where they won’t get a fair trial, where the potential punishment is unjust, much like we do)…hence why there is furore amongst some people about their extradition behaviour.
    In this case the UK is willing to just hand him over to sweden..with no charges laid…so again I say their extradition laws are awful.
    Assange should not be going to Sweden, O’Dwyer and McKinnon should not be going to the USA. They evidently don’t have one of the best judicial systems..they have a very poor one. Rights lawyers don’t often attack excellent legal systems. They are attacking UK extradition laws.

    You also can’t just say average joe doesn’t have the legal knowledge to understand something they think is obviously corrupt, and flawed or average joe could never challenge the behaviour of anything. That would be totalitarian. Especially given it is a recurring theme…if it were just a matter of understanding then surely they could educate the populace…but they can’t because the extradition rulings are bogus.

    Richard O’Dwyer isn’t ‘the average joe not understanding’….its just complete BS. you can’t get extradited to another country when you never did anything in that country and never broke any laws in your own country. This is as black and white as it gets. Assange is caught up in the same bogus extradition laws.

  82. Jimmy

    Justin – “How many countries have to be better for the UK to no longer be ‘one of the best’?’ Well I’ll ask you how many does it have to beat before it is? And out of interest how many do you have in front of it as a whole? Not this part or that part but as a whole.

  83. Jimmy

    Justin Martin – Sorry if I misinterpreted your statement of “well any country that doesn’t just hand people over the the USA is better in this instance.” but given the UK haven’t handed him over to the USA why would a country that doesn’t be better?

    And why, if the UK extradition system is so poor, do the US need to get him extradited to Sweden first?

    And the average Joe may think they see but don’t have the legal knowledge to know.

    Oscar Jones – People keep comparing Assange with Hicks and Habib but where is the similarity, will Assange be held in Guatanamo and tortured, No. Will Assange have to face a military court? No. Will Assange even be able to get to taken to the US without a charge?
    And on top of this the profile of Assange is slightly higher than the other two prior to being captured which makes abduction out of the question.

    Hugh – You say Sweden does not have to consult with anyone about a rendition to the US, given 4 corners said that this had happened previously but the UN found Sweden acted illegally and forced them to pay compensation do you think they will do that again?

    And given the supreme court (I think but it could of been another) just made clear someone can’t be held without charge when they knocked down Obama’s legislation how will he find himself at the mercy of the extra-judicial system.

  84. drsmithy

    I was merely pointing out that under the law unintentional acts cans still be punished, a speeding driver didn’t intentionally kill the pedestrian.

    No, you weren’t, you were making an analogy of giving a loaded gun to a baby to having a trusted colleague act without your consent (and against your expectations).

    As for cheerleading I don’t thik I am doing that, […]

    It is difficult to interpret the willful ignorance (/naivette) as anything else. The US’s human rights record for the last decade or so has been atrocious. The US’s rhetoric against Assange personally has been quite strong. Sweden and the US have a history of colluding to circumvent transparent, ethical and moral legal proceedings by using extraordinary rendition. The actions and processes of Sweden and Interpol since reopening the alleged sexual assault cases have been unorthodox, to say the least. Numerous Australian politicians and officials have spoken against him, or accused him of acting illegally.

    All this in the shadow of Bradley Manning’s treatment, increasing intrusions into civil liberties and increasingly more shrill assertions across the entire western world about the “national security” risks of whistleblowing (along with legislative changes to give them force).

    At this stage the whole thing reeks of corruption on a global scale. The simple fact that so many powerful people are making so much noise about one man should be setting off alarm bells for everyone.

    It is well within a state rights to prosecute someone they believe has broken their law, […]

    Really ? So you’d be in favour of extraditing expatriate homosexuals back to places like Iran ?

  85. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Jimmy, right back at the beginning of this thread you wrote: “…but let’s say there s an active investigation and a “sealed grand jury” into Assange in the US at the moment, that does not mean that they will find he has a charge to face, or that if they do find he has a charge to face & that if he returned to Sweden he would be extradicted, or that if he was extradicted he would be found guilty of a crime, or that if found guilty he would serve time in jail.”
    The one possibility you missed is that if Assange is extradited from the UK to Sweden and is locked up there for ‘questioning’, he could be extradited to the US without any involvement of his legal support in any country. And that without any charges being laid by anyone in any country. Sweden does not have to consult with anyone about a rendition to the US. No amount of classy lawyers could stop Sweden doing what it liked if it so desired. If that happened, Julian Assange would find himself in US custody, without any charge being laid and at the mercy of the American extra-judicial system – if that’s how America decided to play it. No one can second guess what the US might do if it got hold of its man. They could accuse him of acts worse than terrorism if they wanted – we know from Guantanamo that they can, they will and they have. If you were in Assange’s position and you believed the evidence, such as it is, that America was definitely out to get to you via Sweden, what would you do?

  86. Karen

    I’m not a personal fan of Assange whom I think is a narcissist, and doesn’t treat women particularly well (not that I suggest for a moment he’s guilty of alleged assault – the case would have been thrown out against him here in Oz in my opinion before it even got to the committal stage based on what has been released against him so far). The expose in 4 Corners about the state of the prosecution case sounds utterly pathetic, in my view.

    However, in Assange’s shoes, I would have everthing to fear about extradition/rendition to America if the charges in Sweden don’t stick. Roll out exhibit number 1 – Bradley Manning who has been placed in solitary confinement and allegedly psychologically tortured as a consequence (to make him break?). Bradley Manning will, undoubtedly, be used as a witness to implicate Assange in espionage, if Manning “sings”. The reliability of Manning, will of course be under question, because of the shadow that will hang over the American authorities concerning the extent to which Manning has been “leant on” and the extent to which his evidence is truly “voluntary”. Nevertheless, until such time there is a trial, Assange can conceivably expect to be placed in detention in similar conditions to Manning, no matter how poor the evidence against him is. No such thing as bail for Assange – given the seriousness of the alleged crimes and the fact that he has “breached bail” in London by seeking asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy. There is also the small fact that there may not be an appetite for people to provide surety, given what has occurred.

    Appollo, I thought that the names of spy operatives were redacted by Assange in the leaked cables – I thought I had read that in the media, but I could be wrong?

  87. Justin Martin

    Jimmy- Now you are kidding right?

    Where did I say Assange was being handed to the USA? you complain of others putting words in your mouth. I’m purely talking about their appalling extradition record. Assange is but one person caught in it.

    “And by definition you can be “one of the best” if there are others better, you just can’t be the best? And Iran or Syria probably wouldn’t “just hand him over to the US” does that make their system better?”

    With regards to extradition…yes. with regards to anything else..unlikely. How many countries have to be better for the UK to no longer be ‘one of the best’?

    The UK…according to many UK lawyers etc is ONE OF THE WORST with regards to extradition.
    On a news report (7.30 report or something) recently I saw a prominent UK rights lawyer use those exact words. It was not an Assange specific story..it was in relation to Richard O’dwyer, the guy who hacked into the USA looking for UFO information etc.

    The interpol red notice has shown that he is not being treated like everyone else, as you say he should be.

    Also on what legal basis is he being extradited? he answered questions in sweden and they let him go, he offered to return, he hasnt been charged with anything, the apparent vicitm refused to sign the affadavit (they said on 4 corners the other night).
    Why does he even need to go to sweden to answer their questions?

    If average joe can see he (and many others) should not be extradited, that points to a flawed extradition not ‘it didnt go our way’. It screams of corruption and politicisation in their judicial system.

    So now your argument is that they have a legal system for extradition that is deeply deeply flawed..but its still A judicial system so that makes it the best in the world? is this your assertion?

  88. Oscar Jones

    Point of Order to Jimmy: go back and read what Keane explained as to why the UK cannot handover Assange to the US but Sweden can.

    Jimmy & Scott exemplify the inane prattle that went on for years about Hicks and Habiib: “why were they there”..”up to no good”..Hicks pictured with grenade thrower” etc etc and so on until they were vilified , all the while jailed for years on end with no charge.

    But not a friggin word about 100 Iraqis who died yesterday who could have been killed by weaponry purchased by kickbacks from the Australian Wheat Board.

    Mein Kamp should be required reading in schools as the words of a madman explain all so easily explain how the populace can be deluded into focusing on a single individual while dozens are murdered in side streets. Governments do it every day and our MSM is like Pravda on steroids.

    Jimmy go away and put yourself in a country house with an ankle bracelet and don’t leave for a year and get back to us about how it’s wonderful experience. You useful idiot.

  89. Jimmy

    Justin Martin – And I should point out that he wasn’t “just handed over” even to Sweden, he took it to court and lost more than once. Just becuase the outcome doesn’t go your way doesn’t necessarily mean the sytem is flawed.

  90. Jimmy

    Justin Martin – Have the UK just handed him over to the US? I must have missed that, I thought they deemed the extradition to Sweden legal, the US haven’t requested an extradition or even charged him so how did they “hand him over to the US”?

    And by definition you can be “one of the best” if there are others better, you just can’t be the best? And Iran or Syria probably wouldn’t “just hand him over to the US” does that make their system better?

    And how has that “interpol red notice” effected his ability to defend himself against the current allegations or any future allegations?

  91. Justin Martin

    @ jimmy.
    well any country that doesn’t just hand people over the the USA is better in this instance.

    Therefore you can’t be one of the best if there are many other countries who are better. I would even accept ‘they have a great judicial system with the exception of extradition”. But claiming they have one of the best with regards to extradition doesn’t hold water.

    There have been many high profile detractors of the UKs current extradition behaviour…and not necessarilly in relation to Assange. Largely its computer related…and I guess Assange falls into that category too.
    If I ever commit anything that the USA decides I’m an enemy for…I hope I’m in NZ. After the megaupload debacle their judges are being pretty damning of the FBI, the USA and the NZ governments compliance with them.

    You also state he is/will be treated like anyone else…I think the interpol red notice says otherwise. No charges remember…this was for questioning.

  92. Jimmy

    Dr Smithy – “This kind of idiotic comment at least makes it easy to see where your biases lie.” I was merely pointing out that under the law unintentional acts cans still be punished, a speeding driver didn’t intentionally kill the pedestrian.

    As for cheerleading I don’t thik I am doing that, just simply observing that up to this point in time Assange has not been charged by the US (and no one on this site has been able to tell me what they would charge him with) and he has been able to present his case in a court of law independent of the UK govt (not to metnion the Swedish and US) and as this issue progresses he will continue to have that right. It is well within a state rights to prosecute someone they believe has broken their law, but they have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and no one has been able to demonstrate that this will not happen in this case but instead allege he will be black bagged or sent to guantanamo.

    As for bias I don’t particularly care for Assange but if all he did was publish then I can’t see how he has committed a crime either, but if the US believe he has they have the right to try to prove it and he has the right to defend himself.

    Justin Martin – You can point to faults in the UK system but how many countries are better? Just because it has faults doesn’t make my statement incorrect.

  93. Apollo

    typos, thorn on their side.

    Dr. Smithy, yes I think all governments use it to abuse power, not surprising.

    Final one for sure. I don’t like to keep commenting on the same thread.

  94. drsmithy

    The Govs are not only worried about embarrassing details that might come out but also classified, national security infos being leaked to wiki people even if they won’t be published.

    Probably the most valuable contribution Wikileaks has made is to demonstrate the extent terms like “classified” and “national security” are abused by Governments the world over.

  95. drsmithy

    Dr Smithy – “I seem to recall that was both unintentional, and not done by Assange.” Oh that’s ok, he only loaded the gun and gave it to the baby.

    This kind of idiotic comment at least makes it easy to see where your biases lie.

    Why you feel the need to cheerlead for two countries that have demonstrated their willingness to use illegal and immoral methods of “justice” is somewhat difficult for me to grasp, however, as is your refusal to understand why someone might be reluctant to voluntarily surrender to either of them.

  96. Justin Martin

    @ Jimmy
    “just that the Uk is one of the best democracies and judicial systems going around.”

    You keep saying this but the realities say otherwise, particularly in relation to extradition.
    How can Assange be extradited when no charges are laid…but even worse is Richard O’Dwyer.

    How can you be extradited to a country you have never been to….never used computer servers in (well not for the ‘crime’ being committed), you committed no crime in the UK, you will face criminal charges in the other country for what would/should be (except its been thrown out previously in the UK) a civil matter. How is that possible in a moderately functioning judicial system.
    It’s worse than Howards treatment of Hicks.

    If this is OK then arabic countries should start extraditing people for consuming alcohol…after all its illegal in some of these countries. Doesn’t matter that you have never been there…this is of no importance in UK ‘law’

  97. Apollo

    dear me, i’ll reply to Hugh, i don’t want to seem to be rude and ignore people. make this my last comment on this thread.

    Hugh I agree with you. My point is Assange dedicate his site to revealing gov infos so he is a constant thorn on their site, it’s not a once in a while scoop published by the papers.

    The Govs are not only worried about embarrassing details that might come out but also classified, national security infos being leaked to wiki people even if they won’t be published. That’s why I think if not the US some other will go after him.

  98. Jimmy

    Hugh – “why hasn’t the American government dragged its own citizens (newspaper proprietors) into court and punished them?” Have they done this to Assange? If they do charge him (with what I don’t know) they will have to have evidence of more than just “publication” if they want to be successful.

  99. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Apollo, you write that: “…… many of the infos published serve no real purpose for common good but just embarrassing and diplomatically damaging for countries.”
    Does it matter that “publication” of this material was actually undertaken by reputable British and American newspapers? If broadcasting all this embarrassing stuff was so outrageous why hasn’t the American government dragged its own citizens (newspaper proprietors) into court and punished them? Clearly powerful government forces aren’t powerful enough to beat up on their own – unless it’s a pathetic army non-entity.

  100. Jimmy

    Dr Smithy – “I seem to recall that was both unintentional, and not done by Assange.” Oh that’s ok, he only loaded the gun and gave it to the baby.

  101. Jimmy

    Bernard Keane – “Sorry Apollo, but as Kissinger might have said, just because you’re a dickhead doesn’t mean they’re not persecuting you.” – The same might be said of Assange!

  102. Jimmy

    And Dr Smithy – Will Assange be charged with the same offence as Manning? Or will he face the same judicial system?

  103. Jimmy

    Gone are the days – It is not a case of “so now no society is perfect” I never said they were, just that the Uk is one of the best democracies and judicial systems going around.

    And were they on the front page before they were charged or after, and were they on in a positive or negative light? And did they have the support of almost all media who are also concerned about “freedom of speech”?

    Buddy – “Jimmy my concern is this : if they can do this to Asssange, and I do firmly believe they will attempt to, then what of the rest of us.” Do what to him, they haven’t done anything yet? And attempt to do? Sure they may attempt it but will they succeed?

    Marilyn – Where is the abuse of power? Has he been charged? Will he not have access to a high profile defence team?

    CML – The US do have the seperation of powers and yes judges are appointed politically but Obama just had a significant “anti terror” legisaltion knocked down and the largely conservative appointed supreme court just backed Obama’s health care plan, so they are hardly ideological zealots.

  104. Mack the Knife

    You’re a little bit precious Bernie, I gather that my saying that you’re a disappointment is the reason my comment has stayed in moderation.

  105. Apollo

    ok this will be my last post on this.

    Look you guys seem very unrealistic not to expect any country to go after Assange.

    Every private person or company or government will have certain infos private for the conduct of diplomacy and security. The fact that Assange is still active and continually put out infos which are private government properties and that would make him a target. It makes sense if he expose wrong doings when it is necessary but many of the infos published serve no real purpose for common good but just embarrassing and diplomatically damaging for countries.

    I think it is somewhat lucky for him that the US overtly asked for him. Personally, I think some other countries already put him on a death list.

  106. shepherdmarilyn

    I reckon the million or so Iraqis bombed to bits were and are more at risk than the people whose names were on the wikileaks cables.

  107. Apollo

    oh comments still. i’ll respond before i hav me supper

    Marilyn, it does not matter that no one has been harm. If you do something that expose someone to risk but lucky that person did not get harmed does not mean it is ok. Drink when you’re pregnant, give a child drug but lucky she did not overdose or get complication, push someone over but lucky they did not break.

    Dr Smithy, I am ambivalent on this subject because Obama did really want to close Gitmo but it turned out quite a few who were released ended up back on the battle field that’s why he kept it, they don’t really know any other alternative.

    As for whether if they don’t care about international human right observers you might be right. I’m not sure on this topic. My take is this is a Dem administration and also they don’t want to start a war with wikileaks in an election year, they don’t really know what will be published.

    Anyway, I’m not a fan of Assange. Gotta eat. Nite!

  108. drsmithy

    I don’t think the US would have a severe sentence for him or persecute as you might say it to such severe degree. His case is a high profile and he’s not a US citizen so this Dem administration probably would not want international human rights observers to complain.

    Wow.

    What world are you living in where the USA gives but one f*ck about what anyone else thinks or the “complaints of international human rights observers” ?

    It blows my mind anyone could even think this after Guantanamo, let alone write it in apparent seriousness.

  109. shepherdmarilyn

    Apollo, you are just stupid.

    Not one person was harmed by Wikileaks.

  110. Apollo

    Gotta go. This is not my fav subject anyway. Nite all.

  111. Apollo

    DR Smithy, Sorry I don;t know that it was unintentional

  112. Apollo

    I don’t think he can be charged with treason because he is not US citizens.

    I don’t think the US would have a severe sentence for him or persecute as you might say it to such severe degree. His case is a high profile and he’s not a US citizen so this Dem administration probably would not want international human rights observers to complain.

    Personally, I think it was reprehensible of him to publish people’s names unecessarily. It is irreponsible which was my real point when I linked to B olt and his journalistic standard which is irresponsible and lack duty of care. It’s a toss for journalist to argue for self regulation and show no accountability.

    I don’t understand why Bernard supported him when it was so obviously flawed, it’s not like those part Aboriginal personalities were able to pretend as pass as white people, I’ve seen some of them. Supporting B olt on that subject as free speech is the same as persecuting a group of people, putting them on a kangaroo court public trial.

  113. Mack the Knife

    I guess my last comment is not leaving moderation

  114. drsmithy

    BK, responsible people would have blanked out certain people’s name but Assange didn’t when he published those infos.

    I seem to recall that was both unintentional, and not done by Assange.

  115. AR

    It is not possible to be either a ‘traitor’ nor ‘treason’ unless one is a citizen of the country doing the persec.. sorry.. prosecuting.
    The British only got Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) because, though amerikan born of amerikan citizens in 1906, the family returned to ireland (his parents’ homeland) and he gave ‘british’ on his passport application.
    Had he used Septic as he was entitled to do, they would have done the same thing.

  116. Mack the Knife

    You’ve become a great disappointment Bernard to many of us but don’t let that disturb your over inflated ego.

    Our government SHOULD be fighting to bring Assange home; anyone knowledgeable of the details of the Swedish stitchup, lack of actual charges and the pathetic EU extradition framework knows it is a massive abuse of process by a bullying USA.

    The comments by Gillard and others that he is a criminal infer he has committed a crime but like Hicks that’s currently rubbish.

    Its an embarrassment that the reality is that the USA is like a bulldog barking at a sycophant Australian government.

  117. Apollo

    BK, responsible people would have blanked out certain people’s name but Assange didn’t when he published those infos.

    I do have concern for Bradley Manning but I don’t care for Assange.

  118. Graeme Thornton

    Tell me your kidding republican baptist and Bush adviser Karl Rove is advisor to Swedish PM ? Not mentioned in the other Wiki- peadia

  119. Lisa

    dON’T HANG AROunD HERE tOo lONG BerNARD, YOU’ll geT A bAD naME.

  120. Nota IdYot

    HAHAHA!!!!!

  121. Bernard Keane

    Goodness, nice stretch from Apollo to link Assange to Bolt.

    Sorry Apollo, but as Kissinger might have said, just because you’re a dickhead doesn’t mean they’re not persecuting you.

  122. Yanto

    @PEDANTIC, BALWYN
    “What I don’t understand is why the poms don’t extradite him from the UK. If the USA really wants him; there is nothing in international law to stop the UK extraditing a fugitive or possible criminal (doesn’t have to be convicted) to a foreign country with whom they share an extradition agreement.”

    It is my understanding that the Swedish extradition is the legal reason that the US can not have Assange extradited directly from the UK , should they chose to do so. One can not happen if the other is already in progress. Something like that.
    I’m not a legal expert but I think that is what I read a legal expert say, for what it’s worth.

  123. Nota IdYot

    “…To defend Assange is to defend truth and justice…” – Mike Shaw

    Yeah, the American Way.

  124. drsmithy

    Obama will then be in a political fix – he won’t be well placed to let America’s greatest traitor off the hook, particularly as the US election draws close.

    I think Obama’s complete lack of interest in, or reason to, “let America’s greatest traitor off the hook” will play a larger part than any political considerations.

  125. drsmithy

    Now I know that I will be howled down as either naive or ignorant on this site for this but let’s say there s an active investigation and a “sealed grand jury” into Assange in the US at the moment, that does not mean that they will find he has a charge to face, or that if they do find he has a charge to face & that if he returned to Sweden he would be extradicted, or that if he was extradicted he would be found guilty of a crime, or that if found guilty he would serve time in jail.

    On the other hand, the deplorable treatment of Bradley Manning strongly suggests the idealistic view above is, at best, naive.

    After the Four Corners special last night, it seems Assange has every right to be nervous. The whole thing stinks to high heaven of something weird going on, and the USA’s behaviour in these sort of things for the last decade has been highly questionable, at best.

  126. Pedantic, Balwyn

    I reckon Assange is complete a@#ehole for releasing information that could destabilise relations between nations and more importantly put lives at risk.

    However, I do feel a certain sympathy for his situation having watched 4 Corners.

    If 4 Corners was totally factual, Assnge has every right to feel concerned about a return to Sweden.

    What I don’t understand is why the poms don’t extradite him from the UK. If the USA really wants him; there is nothing in international law to stop the UK extraditing a fugitive or possible criminal (doesn’t have to be convicted) to a foreign country with whom they share an extradition agreement.

    That being the case, Assange is too cute by far!

  127. Mike Shaw

    ( Convince me our government gives a toss about protecting Assange. ) – Zut Alors

    That’s what it gets down to. And if you or I or any other Australian were in the same position, then I fear that our Govt would serve their US masters first and us a belated second. To date, there is no evidence to the contrary.

    @ Gone Are The Days

    I agree, and I could n’t care if Assange had warts on his nose let alone his personality. To defend Assange is to defend truth and justice.

  128. zut alors

    Re Roxon : at the end of Four Corners Kerry O’Brien said they had approached Nicola Roxon to comment on Assange’s situation but she wasn’t available as she was on holidays. And then, minutes later, she popped up for a whole hour on Q&A filling in for a government colleague – she was in the ABC’s main Sydney studio but dodged being available for a five minute interview by O’Brien in an adjacent studio.

    Convince me our government gives a toss about protecting Assange. In fact, as Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd was the only government politician who gave any hint of support – he refused to rescind Assange’s passport which was McClelland’s publicly declared intention (as the then Attorney-General).

  129. Gone Are The days

    Oh, so now no society is perfect Jimmy?!?! Only in a democracy, eh?

    Well, maybe not Time magazine Jimmy, but they did appear on the front page of every major tabloid newspaper in Britain…is that enough?

    The issue has nothing to do with Assange being pampered compared to the treatment the rest of us might recieve…and I agree with you slightly on that, but the issue is unequivocally freedom of speech and expression and the possible wrongful imprisonment for exposing a major super-power for it’s hypocracy. A crime that you and I would have no aversion to.

  130. Buddy

    Jimmy my concern is this : if they can do this to Asssange, and I do firmly believe they will attempt to, then what of the rest of us. Asssange is high profile, but yet they appear to be making evey effort to construe laws he may have broken in an effort to silence someone whose only ‘crime’ appears to have been releasing documents to the world.
    Asssange is. Ost likely an egotist and slightly too much in love with his own importance, but he is fast becoming for me the litmus test. And if he loses, we all stand to lose much more than we can imagine.

  131. shepherdmarilyn

    It’s not about his frigging hardships Jimmy, it’s about a massive abuse of power.

    I wonder if Roxon didn’t appear on 4 Corners because she had just been told the case against Hicks was bogus.

  132. Jimmy

    Gone Are the Days – Why not just go back to convicts being sent to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread? No society is perfect but that doesn’t mean some are better than others.

    And did any of the Birmingham 6 appear on the front cover of time prior to their arrest? Or did they have even half the legal team Assange has assembled, or the various celebrity benefactors prior to even being charged?

    I think people are getting a bit carried away with the hardships Assange has supposedly faced.

  133. Gone Are The days

    Jimmy presents the logic of the illogical question. But he might like to consult the Birmingham 6 in that regard.

  134. Jimmy

    Gone are the days – Would you prefer to be arrested in the UK or Afghanistan?

  135. Edward James

    what were the few home truths !

  136. Gone Are The days

    “Assange is in one of the best democracies in the world ”

    Next please!

  137. CML

    Now that’s interesting – moderated for telling a few home truths about the great US of A!!!!

  138. Edward James

    In NSW Federal State and Local politicians are all the peoples representatives. But those like me who are paying attention know our trusted elected reps are just no dam good! 0243419140 Edward James

  139. Jimmy

    Mike Shaw- What charge is Assange supposedly facing in the US? What court will it be heard? And how has he been treated differently to this point?

    As for me trusting the US to give Assange a fair trial if there was one country where I would want to eb able to use the “freedom of speech” defence it would be the US and given the federal court just struck down Obama’s legislation on terror and detaining without charge I think he will get a fair trial.

    Zut Alors – FOrtunately it will be up to neither the right wing media nor Obama to “get him off the hook” as they aren’t part of the US judicial process.

    JJ Mick – Who is this unnamed person who had a plane roll up to his door never to be heard of again? Where are his family? Sounds like an urban legend to me.

  140. CML

    @ JIMMY – Are you for real??? The American justice system is very, very flawed. It relies on who gets VOTED in as a judge to which court. It is all soooo political. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the US has anything like the separation of powers doctrine, which operates in Oz. Assange is most unlikely to get a fair trial. After all, he exposed/embarassed/told the world the truth about, the “great” US of A!!! Added to that is the utterances of various politicians who want him exterminated – either by verdict of a court, or by extra-judicial killing. All on the public record!

    And where is our government? Missing in action – cowards! I have two passports, Australian and British. Guess which one I use when overseas?

  141. zut alors

    If Assange ends up handcuffed on US soil you can bet your bippy Faux News will whip the nation into a lathered frenzy calling for blood. Several of their rabid commentators have already suggested his termination. Obama will then be in a political fix – he won’t be well placed to let America’s greatest traitor off the hook, particularly as the US election draws close.

  142. Mike Shaw

    Jimmy, you are sounding more like Bob Carr and Jason Clare, but perhaps a bit more deluded, atleast they know what they are doing.

    “…will be subject to the same legal proceedings as anyone else and if he loses that he will face the same process in the US as anyone else….”

    Are you serious? It’s not just a mere point of law at stake here Jimmy, its an example to be made of Assange and possibly many ” lesser lights ” to come after him. The Govt mantra that he has not been charged is a total cop-out and as we know, leaves a gaping hole to cover their back-sides if he is indicted.

    Would you really trust the US Govt to give Assange a fair and equitable hearing this matter? Your answer would tell me a lot about you.

  143. jj mick

    Lets all be serious. When it comes to the relationship with the US Australian nationals will (and are) always sold out by their own government. David Hicks comes to mind as does a young lad from the Central Coast who broke the source code for Microsoft software and had a plane show up to take him away )to the US) never to be heard of again. Does one really think that Julian Assange has a fighting chance? I doubt it.

  144. Jimmy

    Marilyn – He has been under house arrest in a very comfortable country home while his legal team fought (and lost) an extradiction charge. The only difference I see there with anyone else is that most peole wouldn’t have been so comfortable or been able to afford the defence team he had.

    If he returns to Sweden and answers the questions he will either be charged and afforded the same trial as anyone else or thanked and sent on his way. If the US actually do find a charge they can level on him his extradiction will be subject to the same legal proceedings as anyone else and if he loses that he will face the same process in the US as anyone else.

    If the charges are so clearly bogus what has he to fear?

  145. shepherdmarilyn

    Treated like anyone else? What are you smoking Jimmy? He has been under house arrest in Britain for over 500 days based on precisely no more than a prosecutor wanting to ask questions he could have asked over the frigging phone.

    Did you bother to watch 4 Corners to see how bogus the whole thing is.

    We all whinge that journalists need to be protected yet Assange can be hung out to dry and not helped by our own government.

    Give me a break.

  146. Jimmy

    Marilyn – Who siad anything about treating Assange like a criminal? All I am saying is that he should be treated like anyone else, if it can be shown that he has a case to answer, he should answer it in a court of law and be afforded the same entitlement to a defence as anyone else.

    As for Hicks and Habib how was I wrong? And to compare Assange to them is a very big stretch, they were anonymous and captured in a war torn country with no real rule of law as “enemy combatants” with no access to legal representation . Assange is in one of the best democracies in the world with one of the best legal systems (or was until he went to Ecuador), has a very high profile and a massive legal team that spans 4 countries.

  147. shepherdmarilyn

    The US is currently murdering it’s own citizens in foreign countries – why do the dingbats here think that Assange should be treated like a criminal.

    Remember how wrong you same nutbags were about David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib.

  148. Apollo

    All this is because BK thinks ‘journalists’ are a special protected specie above all standard of conduct.

    That’s why he supported B olt’s prattle against Aboriginal personalities as ‘free speech’ without the need for integrity, duty of care and safety standards.

    Like as if those Indigenous people never have dark skin family and relatives and suddenly they discovered they have Aboriginal blood and decided to claim heritage to get some benefit.

    As if those people could pass people’s eyes and pretended they are not Aboriginal from the physical features and as if there isn’t a large population of white people whispering behind their back that they are b—ng or nig— and not pure white even if they’d faced no discrimination or racism in their life (which is unlikely). People like to pretend their isn’t racism in Australia, it makes them feel good.

  149. Jimmy

    Nudiefish – Name 1 “third-party “rendition” seizure” where the victim had previously been on the front cover of time?

    Or name one where the victim already had an Australian, UK, Swedish and US legal team in place?

  150. Nudiefish

    Oh yes, of course, all crazy conspiracy theories. After all, we are all well aware that the United States has never involved itself with third-party “rendition” seizures.

    Wait a second…..?

  151. Jimmy

    Exaclty Scott – On this site there is the constant assertions that somehow he will be black bagged and even somehow disappeared en route from England to Sweden despite him being particularly famous. I mean it’s not like we are expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

  152. Scott

    Agreed Jimmy. The deification of Assange and the conspiracy theories that continue to haunt the halls of crikey (I can understand from Guy Rundle, but now BK?) are getting tiresome. To quote from the greats…”He is not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”

  153. Jimmy

    Now I know that I will be howled down as either naive or ignorant on this site for this but let’s say there s an active investigation and a “sealed grand jury” into Assange in the US at the moment, that does not mean that they will find he has a charge to face, or that if they do find he has a charge to face & that if he returned to Sweden he would be extradicted, or that if he was extradicted he would be found guilty of a crime, or that if found guilty he would serve time in jail.

    At every point in the process so far and into the future he has had access to legal representation and due process, if he is charged he will not face the same charge or the same process as Manning and even if the US govt does have a vendetta against him they do not have control of the judicial system.

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