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  Ecuador grants asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
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ContributorBrandon 
Last EditedBrandon  Aug 16, 2012 10:30am
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CategoryNews
AuthorSterling Beard
News DateThursday, August 16, 2012 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionEcuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño announced Thursday that his country would be granting political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, on the grounds the country believes he will be politically persecuted if he is extradited from Great Britain to Sweden.

Assange, who turned himself in to British authorities in 2010, has been staying at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly two months. The British government is seeking to extradite him to Sweden, where he was accused of rape and sexual molestation two years ago.

Assange denies the allegations against him by two female former WikiLeaks volunteers. He believes the charges to have come in retaliation for his organization’s release of classified U.S. documents and diplomatic cables.
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R:1153J.R. ( 744.6801 points)
Fri, August 17, 2012 03:56:04 AM UTC0:00
asljfaoignewaoigneawoignweagoiwnegoiawn
What's your general feeling towards Assange
Anti 16 (50%)
Neutral 9 (28.12%)
Pro 7 (21.87%)
32 Votes Cast
View User Votes
Polls Close August 23, 2012 12:00am

 
LBT:8827Smart ( 1017.9734 points)
Fri, August 17, 2012 05:29:26 AM UTC0:00
fortytwo: "Assange is not guilty of any crime."

Violating terms of his bail. Sexual assault against volunteers in his organization. Publishing classified documents. 3 countries, 3 crimes. He deserves his day in court, but these countries also have the right to present their cases.

Assange is not a British citizen, a Swedish citizen or an American citizen. He has no reason to obey the courts of those countries, and their flawed laws.

He did not rape anyone, he merely did not use a condom. In Sweden's draconian legal system, evidently that counts as rape.

He did not publish Australian classified documents, he published American classified documents - documents which belong to the American people. ALL CIA/FBI/NSA documents should be available online unless they pose a great risk to someone's life.

Since I oppose the very existence of the CIA-FBI-NSA, it's no surprise I would side with their greatest enemy - Julian Assange.

Scott³: A bullet in his temple is an adequate solution.
Indeed, murder is an adequate solution to dictators and their enablers. Just get rid of someone who publishes the mass-murder of Afghan civilians.

 
D:6086Jason ( 7718.4429 points)
x3 x3
Fri, August 17, 2012 08:23:44 AM UTC0:00
Various three-letter agencies are supposed to be secretive. That's part of what makes them valuable resources against the rest of the world (although the FBI is a red herring in Smart's post). Regardless of one's views on foreign policy and whether or not we should be more isolationist, non-interventionist, or what have you, the reality is we have what we have and until that changes, the system should work as well as it can to advance the national interest. I will always believe the national interest is worth pursuing.

Machiavellian as it may sound, part of what makes the United States an effective hegemony is its ability to manipulate enemy and ally alike. This, indubitably, is cause for concern among non-American nationals, but this also puts Assange's motives and actions into context. He's not publishing Australian documents, conveniently, because his motives are not in the name of full disclosure. To damage or at least discredit the American government is a means to bring about one particular end; and end or at least a reduction in the authority exerted by the United States over the rest of the world. You can be a pacifist for all I care, but to consider Assange to be some pro-American folk hero is insanity.

I consider myself to be a non-interventionist, although a pragmatic and realistic one. I find, over the past decade in particular, that the United States all too frequently sends troops where they do not belong and with no clear-cut interest for continued occupation. I was in favor of withdrawing from Iraq as soon as it became clear that the WMD situation was bunk. However, I am not going to support leaking classified documents for the world to scrutinize. Even if the information is seemingly harmless at face value, there's an advantage to playing your proverbial cards close to the chest. We have dirt on people for a reason, and that advantage is kept in part by hiding whatever dirt we may have ourselves.

 
D:1414Forwardista ( 171.5051 points)
Fri, August 17, 2012 09:31:10 AM UTC0:00
Jason: He's not publishing Australian documents, conveniently, because his motives are not in the name of full disclosure.

Julian Assange could face arrest in Australia over unredacted cables
[Link]

Your larger point is interesting since it comes from an isolationist.

 
D:6086Jason ( 7718.4429 points)
Fri, August 17, 2012 09:39:26 AM UTC0:00
I stand corrected on that part.

 
LAB:1731L'illusionniste ( 561.8354 points)
x7
Fri, August 17, 2012 01:17:54 PM UTC0:00
Smart: He did not rape anyone, he merely did not use a condom. In Sweden's draconian legal system, evidently that counts as rape.

This is a ridiculous misogynistic lie put out by his defence/media team two years ago and it is disturbing (to say the least) to see it continue to circulate so freely around the internet. The charges against Assange are actually rather serious and one of the many British courts to rule against him (I think it was the Court of Appeal) made a point of pointing out that the most serious of them would indeed count as rape in the British legal system. And, of course, far from having a 'draconian legal system' Sweden is, of course, generally regarded as being one of the most open and democratic countries on the planet. Even if you think that the Wikileaks project is an unquestionable good, trivialising rape accusations in this way ought to be a no-no.

 
R:7206Hikikomori Blitzkrieg! ( 290.2565 points)
Sat, August 18, 2012 08:39:09 AM UTC0:00
"Assange is not guilty of any crime."

Violating terms of his bail. Sexual assault against volunteers in his organization. Publishing classified documents. 3 countries, 3 crimes. He deserves his day in court, but these countries also have the right to present their cases.

Isn't Assange a citizen of Australia? Why the Hell should foreigner be expected to comply with U.S. laws about not publishing documents our government deems to be classified? The government should keep those documents out of the hands of foreigners, but once they are out there, the idea that a citizen of Australia can't publish them without facing extradition to the USA, is patent nonsense. Why the Hell does a citizen of Australia have to concern his self with how the U.S. government happens to categorize a given document?

On the other hand, it would be entirely legitimate for Australia to pass law barring its citizens from, say, publishing the classified documents of its ANZUS Treaty allies, for example. But that's a separate question.

 
R:7206Hikikomori Blitzkrieg! ( 290.2565 points)
Sat, August 18, 2012 08:50:36 AM UTC0:00
And, of course, far from having a 'draconian legal system' Sweden is, of course, generally regarded as being one of the most open and democratic countries on the planet.

The Swedish definition of rape is a melange of other-than-forcible-intercourse, hyper-Feminist peculiarities, and a laughingstock across Europe. Its a popular gag line in the UK for someone to commit some minor faux pas, and to declare "In Sweden, that would be rape."

I don't believe the rape accusations against Assange. They are likely trumped-up bull**** against a someone the establishment doesn't like. As such, one can rest assured he'd be convicted if extradited to Sweden, but is there any actually compelling evidence he committed forcible rape against a woman in Sweden?

 
LBT:8827Smart ( 1017.9734 points)
Sat, August 18, 2012 09:19:10 AM UTC0:00
Jason: Various three-letter agencies are supposed to be secretive. That's part of what makes them valuable resources against the rest of the world (although the FBI is a red herring in Smart's post). Regardless of one's views on foreign policy and whether or not we should be more isolationist, non-interventionist, or what have you, the reality is we have what we have and until that changes, the system should work as well as it can to advance the national interest. I will always believe the national interest is worth pursuing.

Machiavellian as it may sound, part of what makes the United States an effective hegemony is its ability to manipulate enemy and ally alike. This, indubitably, is cause for concern among non-American nationals, but this also puts Assange's motives and actions into context. He's not publishing Australian documents, conveniently, because his motives are not in the name of full disclosure. To damage or at least discredit the American government is a means to bring about one particular end; and end or at least a reduction in the authority exerted by the United States over the rest of the world. You can be a pacifist for all I care, but to consider Assange to be some pro-American folk hero is insanity.

I consider myself to be a non-interventionist, although a pragmatic and realistic one. I find, over the past decade in particular, that the United States all too frequently sends troops where they do not belong and with no clear-cut interest for continued occupation. I was in favor of withdrawing from Iraq as soon as it became clear that the WMD situation was bunk. However, I am not going to support leaking classified documents for the world to scrutinize. Even if the information is seemingly harmless at face value, there's an advantage to playing your proverbial cards close to the chest. We have dirt on people for a reason, and that advantage is kept in part by hiding whatever dirt we may have ourselves.
-_-

Before I respond, I read every single word of that, and while I strongly disagree with you, I respect your position and Machiavelli.

However, as a strict Republican and non-interventionist (evidently not a "realistic" or "pragmatic" one), I oppose the U.S. or any other nation interfering in the affairs of another nation.

The documents that Assange released should be public knowledge for three reasons:
1. The documents reveal the corruption of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the atrocities committed against neutral or even friendly Afghan civilians (specifically that video of Afghan civilians being gunned down as if it were a video game)
2. No government or intelligence agency should keep important information from its citizens simply because public opinion would radically change if the public knew what was going on.
3. The documents are further evidence that intelligence agencies like the CIA, Mossad, etc are not allies of Western civilians, but are criminal organizations/gangs.



 
LBT:8827Smart ( 1017.9734 points)
Sat, August 18, 2012 09:19:34 AM UTC0:00


L'illusionniste: This is a ridiculous misogynistic lie put out by his defence/media team two years ago and it is disturbing (to say the least) to see it continue to circulate so freely around the internet. The charges against Assange are actually rather serious and one of the many British courts to rule against him (I think it was the Court of Appeal) made a point of pointing out that the most serious of them would indeed count as rape in the British legal system. And, of course, far from having a 'draconian legal system' Sweden is, of course, generally regarded as being one of the most open and democratic countries on the planet. Even if you think that the Wikileaks project is an unquestionable good, trivialising rape accusations in this way ought to be a no-no.

"Misogynistic", as a male feminist, I'm perturbed with that accusation. In what way is what I said (or rather repeated) degrading to females?

Let's be clear here that the woman in question had already had sex with Assange, and did not specify that she wanted him to use a condom in that situation, or in the second situation in which he didn't use one. Assange is not diseased, he's not like the guy who intentionally slept with many women without telling them he had AIDS. The woman in question does not have an STD. The sex was consensual, not rape. If you think Sweden's legal system is in any way progressive in this matter then it's good you live in a country that agrees with this nonsense. Sweden's political system may be great, and their policies in line with the overwhelming majority of Swedish people's opinions, but that does not excuse this horrible law. This is a victimless crime. The woman did not become pregnant or obtain an STD, so exactly what is the problem? Please explain in detail why you think Assange is a rapist.

 
R:194Scott³ ( 8016.0796 points)
Sat, August 18, 2012 08:18:42 PM UTC0:00
Hmmm.... Lest anyone think I show favoritism toward young cute gay traitors....


What's your general feeling towards Bradley Manning?
Anti 16 (57.14%)
Pro 6 (21.42%)
Neutral 3 (10.71%)
NS/NO/NA 3 (10.71%)
28 Votes Cast
View User Votes
Polls Close September 02, 2012 05:00pm

 
D:1774Hail to the Rookies ( 89.0060 points)
Mon, August 20, 2012 12:38:00 AM UTC0:00
Brandon: Sweden is definitely the first place one thinks of where political oppression and persecution is concerned.

Ecuador, on the other hand...

 
R:8516Spen ( 128.4489 points)
Mon, August 20, 2012 01:03:24 AM UTC0:00
I'm going to be groaned at for this, but who is Bradley Manning, and why should I have an opinion of him?

 
R:1153J.R. ( 744.6801 points)
x2
Mon, August 20, 2012 01:18:17 AM UTC0:00
[Link]

 
R:194Scott³ ( 8016.0796 points)
x2
Mon, August 20, 2012 01:21:23 AM UTC0:00
That was very cool J.R..

Btw, why do you have a four digit user no.?

 
R:1153J.R. ( 744.6801 points)
Mon, August 20, 2012 01:33:00 AM UTC0:00
I'm not sure what you mean. User numbers are based on order of creation. I created the 1153rd profile.

 
R:549kal ( -57.2262 points)
x2
Mon, August 20, 2012 01:55:52 AM UTC0:00
Yeah, but there wasn't 8515 new members before Spen joined us just a few months ago?

 
D:479Brandon ( 1558.3782 points)
x2
Mon, August 20, 2012 05:24:44 PM UTC0:00
Hikikomori Blitzkrieg!: I don't believe the rape accusations against Assange. They are likely trumped-up bull****

If the charges are bogus, that's his lawyers' case to make, and it's for a jury/judges/Sweden's legal system to work out. And again, this is a court in Sweden (a liberal democracy with plenty of due process protections) we're talking about, not some modern-day incarnation of the Volksgerichtshof.

You are essentially saying he should never even have to face them at all, because random internet commentators don't believe them. Sort of a crap standard.

And the converse of your argument about why should an Aussie have to obey American laws if he didn't do anything in America is that he should certainly have to obey Swedish laws if he's, you know, in Sweden, whether you personally believe those laws are born of "hyper-Feminist peculiarities" or not.

 
R:8766Republitarian ( 57.4549 points)
Mon, August 20, 2012 07:40:45 PM UTC0:00
I've no opinion--the only evidence available to me is that available to the general public and that, I suspect, is a minuscule amount relative to what will be presented once the trial begins.

 
D:479Brandon ( 1558.3782 points)
x3 x2
Mon, August 20, 2012 07:43:08 PM UTC0:00
As for Manning, he should consider himself lucky he'll be spared the noose.

 
LBT:8449Jed Ziggler ( 433.7087 points)
x3
Tue, August 21, 2012 01:08:27 AM UTC0:00
What Manning did by obtaining the leaks was wrong, what Assange did with the leaks was his job as a journalist and he is being unfairly persecuted for it. As far as the sexual assault charges, they sound bogus to me.

 
D:478Bob ( 2253.6577 points)
Wed, August 22, 2012 01:35:50 AM UTC0:00
I agree. As a journalist, Assange was just doing firsthand research on a hard-hitting piece about the fine line between legitimate rape and surprise sex.