peter lindsay

Physics Teacher,

This conversation is closed.

Are there any circumstances where its OK for local police to enter another countries Embassy?

Julian Assange again. The latest news is that the UK have threatened to enter the Equadorean embassy to secure Assange. To me this suggests that all the surmising about US involvement might actually be true as I find it very hard to believe that a country would breech diplomatic immunity agreements over a sexual assault. If that is normal why doesn't it happen all the time?

Closing Statement from peter lindsay

Closing statement. I think the majority of us are greatly concerned about any threat to diplomatic immunity and the ability to seek asylum. As an update as requeated by Debra since the UK gave assurances that they had no intention of invading Equador's embassy the silence in both the Australian and UK press has been defening. We get daily BBC news here and even they haven't mentioned it for over a week. Perhaps they are preparing a large box with confidential stamped all over it to go in the express post to Equador. As long as the box doesn't say "ouch" every time they drop it the story could end here.

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    Aug 20 2012: Debra:
    I really fail to see how you case is relevant, linked or like Assanges case???

    About the female diplomat - I can almost say for certain, that if she walked around in a bikini i Saudi Arabia, she would not be able to avoid prison (or more) simply by pulling the diplomat card.
    Respect for the local laws are necessary even for diplomats.


    Barry:
    How often does an embassy give asylum to sex offenders?
    I don't think Ecuador often gives asylum to alleged sex offenders facing questioning.

    There is a big difference in fleeing death, torture or live imprisonment because of political views, or fleeing a fair trial and a possible prison sentence - in this case just questions that could lead to a charge.
    The charges and countries are very relevant, as the international relation and power s diplomats are not there to intervene with local laws and political asylum is not a mean to avoid abiding the law.

    I know one case in Denmark, where a diplomatic status was changed, because it was given to avoid drug and weapon charges to an ambassadors son. It was decided, that he could not just make anyone a diplomat - and in that way the embassy could not just do what is pleased.
    The concept of an embassy is goodwill and an agreement to follow the rules - both ways!
    It was never meant as a carte blanche.

    Sweden is different from the US in many ways - charges are not made without investigation because everyone are innocent until proven guilty.
    That does not however mean that you can avoid facing questions.

    Another thing that is very very different is, that Sweden - as many countries in Europe, are not allowed to extradite offenders, if they risk death or torture.
    And both happens in the US.
    Should the US therefore ask Sweden for Assange, in questioning him regarding the leaks (with charges of treason or espionage he could risk death penalty) Sweden would have to keep Assange... Assange have actually previously asked for residence in Sweden, but was not granted it.
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      Aug 20 2012: Sophia, we are discussing the way embassies and ambassardorial priveleges work in law not in our own wishes. My parallel is to require anyone to face their own preconceived notions of the actual happenings. Assange is not charged with our version of sexual assault. In fact, he is not charged nor is he a sex offender. He is at worst a person in need of asylum and that is what an embassy provides. For a primer please read The Hunchback of Notre Dame for an early version of the concept of asylum. There is a Disney movie if that is preferable.

      BTW the situation that I set to you is NOT hypothetical. It is a reality. I cannot believe that any woman would willingly reduce those issues to the silly matter of how one dresses.
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      Aug 21 2012: If the swedish authorities are only interested in the sexual "assault" why didn't they question him when he was under house arrest. They made no attempt to get a statement from him before applying for extradition. That is the thing that never happens. You never go through a time consuming and expensive extradition procedure without sending some one over to interview the prospective defendant to see if it is worth the time and expense.
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        Aug 21 2012: Good point Peter,
        Generally, they do not go through the time and expense for extradition unless they have sufficient evidence for a conviction.
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    Aug 18 2012: Why stop being controversial at this point? i ask myself as I launch into this.

    I think what is happening at this embassy is a side effect of the distortion and semi-destruction of the Geneva Conventions by Bush et Al in the redefinition of torture and interrogation especially at Abu Grahaib.
    Those conventions held - in tact- for a very long time and even the smallest and most rogue nation would not violate them in public and Bush and Cheney took the might of the world's biggest superpower and trashed their concepts. The world needs to put them back together again if they are not utterly destroyed but right now Britian might be turning them in to Humpty Dumpty.

    Those big boys are demonstrating true corruption to the world.
    America is great because she is good, if she ever stops being good she will also stop being great.

    'Laws are always unstable unless they are founded on the manners of a nation; and manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people."Taken from Wikipedia
    Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (29 July 1805 – 16 April 1859) was a French political thinker and historian, most famous for his work Democracy in America.

    In the school of dirty tricks most countries learned all they needed to know from GB. Just ask all those dead Canadians who were canon fodder.
    • Aug 18 2012: I must disagree with you Debra. If America ever was good, it can no longer make that claim.

      I have relatives who fought for this country, putting themselves in harms way.

      More importantly, thousands upon thousands of Americans have died in wars, with the understanding that they were fighting to preserve freedom.

      America's recent regimes have betrayed them all.

      When enemies tested the courage of our convictions we betrayed them because we were afraid.

      You are right about the connection between the breaking of the Geneva Conventions and this last outrage. And Obama has not protested the threat made by the UK. There is something very wrong with America today.
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        Aug 18 2012: America is still beautiful to the world. She is still a bastion of hope and light. All I am doing from this end of our continent is hoping to make you = the citizens aware that you are NOT alone in hoping that you have alot right. I am trying to stir you to action for the greatest hope for humanity still resides in your freedoms and in your documents.
        Find a way to work together so that you work. We all need you to work, Barry!
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    Aug 18 2012: meanwhile, illegal financial blockade still surrounds wikileaks, an organization that did not commit illegal acts, not even accused of any.

    http://wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade.html
  • Aug 16 2012: When I first read your introduction, I could not believe it. So I checked the news myself and learned that the government of Ecuador is extremely upset about the threat. And well they should be!

    I agree with you, this goes beyond extraordinary; this is bizarre behavior on the part of the UK.

    I have not followed the Julian Assange case, but I did read a couple of articles about the charges against him in Sweden. The charges are dubious at best. With this latest development, I have no doubt that there is US involvement in this case. Of course, the entire diplomatic world wants Assange behind bars because of the embarrassment he caused; I doubt that any arm twisting was necessary on the part of the US.

    It would not be surprising if Ecuador gave asylum to Assange just to make a point about threats.

    To answer your original question: Yes, I am sure I could imagine some extraordinary situation that would justify police entering an embassy. But this case certainly does not.
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      Aug 16 2012: Curiouser and curiouser. I've always been a bit "6 of one half a dozen of the other" when it comes to Assange and wikileaks but the UK indicating they are prepared to trash a 50 year old diplomatic treaty for a sexual assault case dose as you say seem BIZARRE. I seem to remember many incidents of foreign diplomats running to embassys in the past under threat of much graver charges. Can't wait for the movie though.
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      Aug 16 2012: Barry, IT makes me proud of Ecuador! At least I now know where all the guts in the world fled to.
  • Aug 18 2012: Debra, thank you for your response. It is difficult to read about your horrible experience without being affected by the issues. Naively, I believe that cops are there to uphold the law, not to break it just because they can and they know their way around the system. Colleagues protect their workmates for a variety of reasons but it is not uncommon to see groups of co-workers distorting facts to protect a colleague whom they have to continue to work with. Macho jobs seem to encourage a sense of camaraderie that is difficult to penetrate when things go awry. I have always found Canada an agreeable country to be in so I am surprised at the level of police corruption which you have detailed.

    I am not asking Assange to turn himself in. I am asking that he make suitable arrangements for answering the questions that the Swedish justice system are entitled to ask him. I also want to divorce the Wikileaks and the USA questions from the ones of sexual assault. I have no interest in Assange's political motivations but his personal conduct does interest me, if it does include coercive sexual activity (potentially, this is a crime in Sweden and other developed countries) and two Swedish women who were entitled, under the Swedish penal code provisions, to believe that they should not be subject to forced sexual contact.

    Is Assange a rapist?

    If so, he should be facing justice rather than conflating the USA/Wikileaks issues with the requirements of the Swedish justice system. there is no case to be made for permitting Assange to divest himself of his responsibilities to his sexual partners, if he has forced himself upon them albeit after their consensual agreement.
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      Aug 18 2012: Jeff, you are talking to one who was an absolute believer and I raised 5 kids that way who tried to tell me I was naive. I still do not believe this is typical but it makes me cower where I used to have confidence. I would never support a rapist especially with my own background but I have noticed this sort of approach works for authorities. If they can throw anything at the 'victim" to discredit her or him they will and good people everywhere want to take the reasonable approach and entertain the possiblity rather than condemn their own authorities. It utterly blackens the victim. That is why I came forward. I am squeaky clean and stil they got me!
      Oh and one more thing. I now do have a speeding ticket on my record which i just paid rather than fight further - for $12. A cop, who my ex probably trained, claimed he followed me from my previous town on my way home (in fact I watched him come from another direction) when he turned on his lights- I pulled over to let him pass like a good citizen. He pulled up behind my van. When he came to my window and told me he had followed me I was so shocked that I told him he was a liar and asked if he had followed me past another cops' house. He claimed he did not even know who that was. Right. OK so he dropped it immediatley to the lowest possible ticket and I thought $12 , I can cooperate that far (and I taught my kids never to argue with a cop) so I accepted it even though it affects my job. Never having had one before and I am 56, I did not realize it would also affect my drivers insurance. YIKES. They win again!

      Assange should do some stuff but shouldn;t we also make Sweden do some stuff- Like make the questions public or appoint a mediator. I would volunteer to help out.
    • Aug 18 2012: Jeff, At least we completely agree about the key question. "Is Assange a rapist?" At this point we just do not know. I wish I had complete trust that the only motivation of the Swedish authorities was to answer this question, based upon an objective evaluation of the evidence. More importantly, I wish Assange could have such trust. As Debra has demonstrated, today such trust is naive.

      It would be a grave injustice indeed if Assange is guilty and never has to face charges. In addition to the injustice to the two women, he would have duped Ecuador, and many other people who are helping him, into aiding in his escape.

      This case demonstrates the importance of a justice system that is free from corruption and that has earned the trust of the public. Perhaps Debra and I have been overly influenced by our own experiences in North America. Perhaps the Swedish justice system is untarnished. I just cannot make myself believe it.
      • Aug 18 2012: [BP] It would be a grave injustice indeed if Assange is guilty and never has to face charges.

        [JC] Yes Barry! This is my concern. The fate of the involved women has been subsumed by the extradition/Wikileaks sideshow. Having witnessed human nature over a number of decades, it would not surprise me to discover that Julian Assange had deliberately created a boondoggle so that he could avoid submitting himself to a judicial process.

        [BP] I wish I had complete trust that the only motivation of the Swedish authorities was to answer this question, based upon an objective evaluation of the evidence.

        [JC] What evidences do you have to the contrary? If you have no specific proof that there is a conspiracy to do some form of harm to Mr Assange, I cannot understand how your distrust of the Swedish judiciary arises.

        [BP] Perhaps Debra and I have been overly influenced by our own experiences in North America. Perhaps the Swedish justice system is untarnished. I just cannot make myself believe it.

        [JC] The north American judicial systems in both Canada and the USA appear to be intact. I believe that it is vital to separate bad judicial decisions from bad legal systems. Capital punishment aside, both the American and Canadian legal systems have added much that is worthwhile to the English legal system, especially when clarifying areas of judge-made law (precedent).

        Imputing a system of law with bad motives, without seeing the legal system in action is bound to be fraught with hazards and dare I say it, it appears to be pre-judging the situation.
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      Aug 19 2012: I repeat from below. Why didn't Sweden just send some one down to question him while the extradition hearing were in progress and he was under house arrest. It makes it seem like Sweden are more interested in getting him to Sweden than they are in getting him to answer questions.
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    Aug 18 2012: Let's review: Here are Assange's TED contributions so that we hear his own words.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_assange_why_the_world_needs_wikileaks.html

    Here is a related talk WHICH provides some context;

    http://www.ted.com/talks/don_tapscott_four_principles_for_the_open_world_1.html
  • Aug 18 2012: It seems like there are two conversations going on about this case. The first conversation is about Assange facing sexual assault charges. The second conversation, mainly by Debra, is about the rights of diplomats and the long standing principle that an embassy is considered the sovereign territory of the embassy's home country.

    IMO, it is the second issue that is far more important. I have little interest in the fate of Mr. Assange. If the UK decides to go through with its threat, and enters the embassy of Ecuador to arrest Assange, that could be catastrophic for the future of diplomacy. Debra's point is fundamental: "If the so called good guys erode those understandings what does one think will happen in the rest of the wild world?"

    If the UK gets away with this, every country will make a similar law, and there will be nowhere for political refugees to go to get asylum. AND it will put the diplomats in danger every time a refugee goes to a foreign embassy. The whole structure and practice of diplomacy, as it has been practiced for hundreds of years, is being threatened.

    From the point of view of the UK, it is important to remember the case that resulted in the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987. In that case a person from inside the foreign embassy shot a person who was outside the embassy. At that time the UK had no legal recourse whatsoever. There was nothing they could do within the law to apprehend the criminal. IMO, if this law applies to the Assange case, then it was written in language that was far too inclusive. The law should have recognized the special status of political refugees seeking asylum. Or at the least, it should recognize the difference between a peaceful person and an active attacker. Something is very wrong with this law.
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      Aug 18 2012: Something is very wrong with this law.
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      Aug 19 2012: I would imagine there are many young British and American adventure tourists currently watching this very carefully. You may need to rethink your planned trekking adventure through the Middla East.
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    Aug 17 2012: I think the really dangerous concept here is that the embassies and embassy staff might be allowing this without looking to the future. They are ticked that they were embarrassed or their friends were embarrassed by Wikileaks and they might just be cooperating especially in locating Assange. Do they not realize what a terrible precident this is?
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    Aug 16 2012: So, for the record, here is what I read in the Financial Times about the UK's justification for entering the Ecuadorian embassy without permission:

    "Under the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, the government could revoke the building’s diplomatic status if it stops being used exclusively for the purposes of its mission."

    Frankly, I think it's an empty threat. The Vienna Convention (I haven't read it, so this is 2nd hand) declares an embassy or consular office to be the territory of the foreign nation. To open that door could escalate the frequency and intensity of international diplomatic incidents on a pretty broad scale.

    Sweden called in Ecuador's ambassador to protest them interfering in the Swedish judicial process, and that is the correct approach.

    For those conspiracy theorists out there, I might advise we withhold judgment since we are not in possession of all the facts and are not privy to the diplomatic discussions, which I'm sure are ongoing.
    • Aug 17 2012: We have enough facts to know that this is way way way past routine.

      According to the Swedish government, they only want to QUESTION Assange about the sexual assault accusations. He has not been charged with a crime.

      It is just not credible that the UK would take the steps they have already taken if this case was only about questioning a possible suspect. Assange and others have pointed out indications that pressure brought by the USA is behind the sexual assault accusations. The most impartial observer cannot help but conclude that something very fishy is going on behind the scenes, and that the Swedish and UK governments are not telling us all of the facts.

      The actions of the UK have become very good evidence that Assange is correct in saying that these sexual assault charges are just a ruse, and that the true goal is to have Assange face charges in the USA.

      IMO, this is the logic of the situation.

      By the way, Ecuador has granted asylum to Assange, The following is from the BBC news website:

      Mr Patino said Ecuador believed Mr Assange's fears of political persecution were "legitimate" and said his country was being loyal to its tradition of protecting those who were vulnerable.
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        Aug 17 2012: Why have they become good evidence?

        I see that it is a show of power from Ecuador. They can gain by no following UK's request.
        UK is trying to follow international low - they are obligated to extradite criminals, including people wanted for questioning.
        That is not a strange case.
        That is not a one-off.
        This happens on a regular basic.

        What doesn't happen is that another government provide asylum to criminals jumping bail.

        Sweden does not have death penalty.
        The US have not requested Assanger - and if they wanted him, if would be easier to ask the UK, Sweden are tougher when it comes to sending people to countries with lacking judicial system.

        I think the UK has taken the steps, because it is now a case of Ecuador trying to interfere with the law in both Sweden and UK. The UK cannot just let Assanger go - the UK's own courts have made a decision to extradite. And it has been tested in court more than once.
        • Aug 17 2012: I am 62 years of age, and I cannot recall even one other case of a country threatening to enter an embassy to remove a person who has asked for asylum. To my knowledge, this is very much a one-off. If you can provide such a case I would be very interested in reading about it.

          From the point of view of Sweden and the UK, Assange is a fugitive. From the point of view of Assange, he is being politically persecuted. Whether he is correct or not is not really relevant. Every political refugee is considered a criminal by the people he is fleeing. What is different in this case is that the countries Mr. Assange is fleeing are western democracies, not a communist country or a dictator. And suddenly the western democracies are willing to violate one of the most fundamental principles of international relations.

          Until the UK made this bizarre threat I thought Assange was probably being too paranoid. If he had hired a good lawyer and gone back to Sweden I thought there was good probability that the sexual assault case would never go to court. Now that scenario seems very unlikely.
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          Aug 17 2012: Sophia, I know a young woman who was sent to Saudi Arabia as a political diplomat. So, then should they have the right to reject her as a diplomat because their culture does not recongize women even though she is equally educated, proficient and endowed by her country with their highest confidence? Where does this individual country stuff start and end in international diplomacy?
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          Aug 17 2012: Just looking at the case and how he asked for asylum 2 months ago tells one that he was advised to seek a countries protection,i would.
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          Aug 19 2012: Here's the thing. Cables indicating a US investigation into Assange have just been released under freedom of information, so we know they are after him. They needed him to be in Sweden under other charges because they knew if they tried to extradite straight from UK he would run to a foreign embassy as he has done. If he was sent to Sweden first he would have been in custody when the US applied for extradition so unable to get to a foreign embassy fo apply for asylum.
          http://www.theage.com.au/national/us-in-pursuit-of-assange-cables-reveal-20120817-24e8u.html
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        Aug 17 2012: Barry, along with everything else that is happening to me, my thumbs up are gone (maybe so I do not incite a riot??) but you deserve one for this. Thank you.
        • Aug 17 2012: Thank you Debra. I hope my contributions are worthy of your praise. When I read my posts they seem too authoritarian and self righteous. The passion sometimes gets in the way of reasoned contemplation.
      • Aug 18 2012: [BP] "According to the Swedish government, they only want to QUESTION Assange about the sexual assault accusations. He has not been charged with a crime."

        Yes, Barry. Doesn't the Swedish legal system prefer to lay charges against the accused AFTER questioning? This speaking more to the notion that everyone is innocent before the law until their guilt is proved by an impartial investigation.

        The questions relating to some potentially illegal sexual conduct have to be investigated. Julian Assange appears to have some sort of rationale for wanting to avoid going to Sweden to face his accusers (an important part of the criminal law legal process in countries which have a well-developed legal system and penal code) and the longer these public statements from various authorities and Assange's supporters appear in the media, the greater the opportunity there will be for Mr Assange and his legal team to claim that any trial will be tainted.

        For example, it wont be possible to find a jury who have not heard of the case, where all pre-trial matters should be treated as if they are sub-judice and not open for public debate. While I am certain that I not in favour of any form of sexual coercion and miscreants should face the authorities to account for their misdeeds, I an also certain that trial by media can only be followed by any legal proceedings being declared a mistrial.

        Assange's threat to involve the world court in these matters is sufficient evidence that he is not unaware of legal argument. That some think his website performed a useful service is one thing but it has no bearing on his sexual misconduct (if true) and I do not see him as a hero of society when he vigorously resists taking the opportunity to clear his name. No person is above the law, not even Julian Assange.
        • Aug 18 2012: Jeff, I can agree with much of your post. The Swedes do have a right to continue with their investigation of a criminal case. Our disagreement is in what you have chosen to ignore. Assange has stated his rationale: he claims that he is being persecuted for political reasons and that the sexual assault charges have been trumped up as a ruse to provide a legal means of getting Assange into custody in Sweden. And Ecuador agrees with Assange. This case is about conflicting rights. The rights of all parties must be considered, not just Sweden's.

          There is a big difference between extradition for questioning and extradition to face formal charges. If the Swedish government had sufficient evidence, charges would already have been filed. So we can conclude that the evidence available at this time is insufficient for Assange to be charged. Every aspect of the investigation can go forward except the questioning of Assange. I do not know about a suspect's rights in Sweden, but in the USA a suspect has the right to refuse to answer any questions. If Assange refuses to answer any questions, then there would continue to be insufficient evidence for formal charges. So there is every reason to expect that a successful extradition will make no difference in the case.

          Admittedly, I am not familiar with Swedish criminal law. Perhaps in Sweden the refusal to answer questions can be used as evidence of guilt. There could be many differences between Swedish law and USA law. But from my point of view, there is much more to this case than a routine sexual assault investigation. Very much more.
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          Aug 18 2012: Jeff,
          My ex, a cop had the door of my solely own home smashed in by others when I discovered who his girlfriend was 9 months after we parted ways.I thought she was irrelevant. I was napping after work when 3 people with a sledge hammer smashed in my front door. I hid in a closet and called 911 with my cell phone while they went through my house. 3 cruisers showed up surrounded those bad guys as they were carrying stuff out to their car. The 3 cops came in through my destroyed and gaping front entrance and called me downstairs. One recognized me. I said yes, I had been married to a cop who he had worked with on a prominent case and yes, I had been a paid speaker at their Sexual Assault Conference.
          So he went out to my front lawn and CALLED MY EX! WHO PROMISED TO PAY FOR THAT DOOR!
          They then all drove away and let the bad guys go.
          I had to use boards and nails to close my door for the night and order a new door to be installed at a cost of over $2000. My ex has not paid for it to this day.
          When nothing happened for awhile I reasoned that I was innocent, had never even had a speeding ticket and that they knew me from good works and speaking at that conference so I tried to make a complaint. I was turned down by the police force. I tried though another who told me I had to do it through the one who was at fault. I am a good citizen with nothing to hide so I tried again.
          I was invited in for an hour long interview BY A WOMAN WHO WORKS IN HIS DEPARTMENT IN OFFENDER MANAGEMENT WHO ALSO WORKS FOR HIS BEST FRIEND. This is in Canada. I also took in a 5 foot section of my door and door jam still joined at the dead bolt that had broken out during the sledgehammer attack.
          RESULTS? After I was interviewed for about half an hour they focussed in on the fact that I went to a gas station near my ex's home the day I discovered who his girlfriend was. Thus I was A BITTER WOMAN and No action to remedy the situation was ever taken.


          Assange should turn himself in? NOT!
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    Aug 16 2012: it is increasingly obvious that international law is written not by pen but by weapons.
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    Aug 16 2012: alleged sexual assault. there is some funny stuff going down around the world at the moment. war was once land/sea/air. now it's media.

    giving accusers the ability to override another nation's rights would be a huge backward step. let's not embrace 1984..
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      Aug 16 2012: My country bent over backwards for the U.S and we sent in a swat team to arrest one man,a very fat man,his only crime was not having his business located in the states,Kim Dotcomm though he may have obtained citizenship in dubious ways to my country regardless should of had the full protection of my country as a point of honour,instead he got a swat team raid his property,his assets and financials frozen and all the so called evidence taken out of our country and flown to the U.S,all of it illegall under our law.

      Yet we let it happen,the minute i heard of his arrest i knew we had sidestepped our own laws.
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        Aug 16 2012: I just read the wikipedia page on Kim dotcom. I find it hard to believe that it wasn't major news on my side of the ditch. It seems that perhaps the authorities are scared of anyone that is internet savvy. Probably because the authorities are generally such noobs. You would hate to be in court having your future decided on a computer/internet related matter by a magistrate who doesn't know the difference between uploading and downloading.
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          Aug 17 2012: A good friend of mine told me that it was U.S businesses that took up all the leftover clients of his,if you look at it it's all controlled by U.S concerns now,they said it was from hollywood pushing for it but Kim's business was the largest outside of the U.S,take a look at it now.There's a lot of speculation around this case but my friend says it was a message sent in a bottle.
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    Aug 22 2012: I truly hope that I am not violating my promise to BOB when I invite Peter,an Australian to update us on this case. I would appreciate the perspective, Peter.

    http://youtu.be/SKd5wkuWos0
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    Aug 21 2012: Wow, this is getting out of hand. Lets draw a line in the sand of what we believe to be true.

    1) The United States is holding Mr Manning in a on going investigation of the unauthorized release of classified documents that appeared in a wikileaks release and was acknowledged to be US classified documents.

    2) The United States has not charged, interviewed, sought extridation, or implicated Mr Assanage other than he is the owner and operater of Wikileaks that published the US classified documents.

    3) Mr Assinage is currently charged with rape of two swedish citizens

    4) Mr Assinage jumped bail and fled the country to avoid trial on the rape charges.

    5) Mr Assinage, a citizen of Austrailia, sought and received asylum from the USA on political reasons.

    6) Under the Diplomatic and Consular Act 1987, the british authorities may enter the grounds when the embassy ceases to function as an embassy or extreme conditions exist endangering lives.

    7) The only issue at hand is the charges of rape and fleeing the country while detained as a suspect in a capital offense.

    It is my opinion that Mr Assinage's problems are of his making. The official charges of rape and fleeing the country are the only legal issues pending. As for the United States, Mr Assinage entered a dangerous game of twisting the tail of a nation and knowingly publishing classified documents. Mr Manning will most likely be charged and serve a long federal jail term. Investigation will reveal Mr Assinages part in this issue and then a decision will be made of how to proceed.

    Of the 90 comments all but about ten are from the same five people. Mr Assinage is playing the media like a well tuned instrument. He is using Equador to generate world opinion against the US prior to any decisions being made by the US. A pre-emtive strike if you will. The real issue remains the charges of two rapes.

    Lets have a good debate .. but be kind to each other ... thank you.

    All the best. Bob
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      Aug 21 2012: I appreciate your plea for civility Bob but would offer two corrections. Mr Assange hasn't been charged with anything by the Swedes. The investigation regards not using a condom while having consentual sex which makes you an ass but only makes you a criminal in Sweden. And I still don't Know why the Swedish authorities can't question him in England as per the usual Modus Operandi in these situations.
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      Aug 21 2012: One more thing, the Australian authorities have intercepted information indicating interest in Mr Assange from a "US based espionage agency" they wouldn't say who
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        Aug 21 2012: Then as I read it your acting on rumor. Not the best policy.
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          Aug 21 2012: If you consider FBI/CIA cables rumours then I suppose I am. We know its one or the other they just won't say which.
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      Aug 21 2012: Putting the evidence together this way is EXACTLY what led the USA into Iraq. It is NOT the fault of politicians if the people of a country have an indiscriminant blood lust. Assange's blood, whether good or bad belongs in his own viens and bloodletting in this circumstance will NOT make the world a better place - not even for Americans.
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        Aug 21 2012: I have not read anywhere that the US wants his blood or has stated anything other than he is the owner and operator of wikileaks and has knowingly published classified information. There is an on going investigation into the security violations conducted by Mr Manning. If that investigation finds that he was involved then decisions will be made as to the next step.

        I appreciate your concerns for your family and the integrity of the diplomatic mission. This is personal to you.

        My question is how would this have better been handled? What do you consider the FACTS in this issue? I always value your opinion.

        Bob.
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          Aug 21 2012: As a good researcher it is incumbant upon whomever to suss out the truth. Manning released somebody's truth that they wanted held secret. No wonder the US supreme court recently affirmed a right to LIE. Your people may get away with this within your own boarders and you may think that being a nation of liars is OK but the world does not have any misconceptions about it. Your main stream media was PUT TO SHAME by wilileaks, Your own ambassadorial staff were exposed by him and your politicians hate him and it. So now- we are to take their word- the word of a nation who enshrines duplicity in LAW that he will be OK? They did not have to tell those Reuter news employees that their lives were disposable either and YET THEY ARE DEAD AS DOORNAILS.
          I do not know whether i can awaken you but I will know that I tried and someday you might know too.
          Debra



          Addition:The world is listening to the rhetoric. Be sure of that and I offer a Toby Keith song as an exhibit- when do you go after those who really SUCKER punched your people now that you have decimated another people who did NOT DO IT? When does SEMPER Fi mean justice for ALL? Who actually highjacked your nation?

          http://youtu.be/ruNrdmjcNTc
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      Aug 21 2012: your unquestioning servility for governments is unfortunate. you seem to be perfectly okay with the fact that manning is held captive for two years but not yet tried let alone convicted. you seem to be perfectly okay with the US attacks on wikileaks, despite the fact that they committed no violations of US laws. you seem to be one of those who repeat the word "rape" like mantra, even if the charges has nothing to do with rape, and even the much less serious charges seem to be weakly supported.
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        Aug 21 2012: Mr Mannings actions are paramount to treason if true I do not know what the holdup in setting a trail date is, but lenghty delays are not uncommon.ANY country who has discovered it has a leak in its security system would take actions to plug that leak. Further, I am sure that ANY nation that is having their classified documents published would object. It is not my purpose to question the laws of Sweden. I googled Julian and the story stated that two women have charged him with rape. That was the facts and I am not a lawyer or leagal authority able to further discuss the issue.

        Your attack is emotional and without fact. My post was a plea to stick to facts, have a good debate ... and be kind to each other. You may have missed that part.
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          Aug 21 2012: ah. so if every state do it, it is suddenly okay? you don't need to question sweedish law, but you still said "rape" although he is not charged by rape at all. so clearly, one of us is emotionally driven, but it turns out to be not me. and also turned out that i stick to facts, you don't.
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        Aug 21 2012: Gee you may be right and the media, Sweden, MP George Galloway, and all accounts are wrong. I concede to your superior wisdom.
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          Aug 21 2012: you believe that everything the government does is good? like bombing iraq, afganistan, pakistan, training bin laden against the russians, and so on endlessly? what happened to your own moral? why do you need a moral from the outside, and if you need one, why do you borrow it from such an immoral institution?

          btw what kind of wisdom is needed to see that wikileaks did not commit crimes? even the US government admitted that they didn't. under US law, leaking information is a crime, but publishing the leaked information is not. and what wisdom is needed to read articles about what assange is charged with? sex with sleeping gf. sex without condom, after agreeing that condom will be used. this is not rape. this can be illegal, but not rape. so stop spreading desinformation if you want to avoid the accusation of being a government hand puppet.
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        Aug 21 2012: I will immediately use all of my power and authority to change what has been reported and documented by the media, charges by the victims, statements by MP Galloway, and all other things you percieve to be in error.

        I will reserve further comments for when official statements from all parties are made public and a argument can be made from facts not emotions.

        I wish you well. Good-by.
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          Aug 21 2012: what is that attitude of yours? cite me a single source in which victims accuse assange with rape. cite me a single official source that would mention any violations of law on part of wikileaks. what kind of sources you read?

          again: assange is NOT CHARGED WITH RAPE. not charged, ok? it is not the charge. instead of working hard to muddy the waters, why don't you just look it up on wikipedia?

          here educate yourself:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Allegations_of_sexual_assault

          (holding down in a sexual manner ... what language is that? is that even english?)
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        Aug 21 2012: I have stopped this exchange three times. You have stopped a civil discussion and are insulting and aggressive. I perfer to not discuss this further with you. Insults, intimidation, nor bullying work with me. I tend to meet them head on.

        Again. Good - by.
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      Aug 21 2012: I went searching for a scripture this morning about what true Christian religion actually is or SHOULD BE IN CASE ANYONE CARES! This is the excerpt-

      "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."

      IT IS TIME>


      Here is the whole thing:

      The name "Micah" means who is like Jehovah. He lived in the
      territory of Judah, but spoke to the ten tribes of Israel, as well as
      to Judah. The definition of true religion is found in Micah 6:8 "He
      hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD
      require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk
      humbly with thy God?"
      In Manning's case-
      Could treason against the UNITED STATES OF AMERI|CA be the love of GOD?
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        Aug 21 2012: The investigation into Mr Mannings unauthorized release of classified documents COULD result in charges of treason.

        I consider this a political / legal matter not a religious issue.

        Even Jesus stated: Render that which is of Ceasar to Ceasar and that which is of God unto God. Divorcing himself from Roman politics.

        I am not for sure that betrayal of a country, a spouse, or anything, is ever a act of love.

        The phrase Honey I love you so much I am going to cheat on you would probally not be well accepted. I love my country so much that I sold secrets to the enemy.

        Deb you and I have been on the opposing sides before and are again. I respect your input and admire your concern for you family members ... So here is what I suggest. That until all of the hype is sifted out and decisions have been made public from all of the parties (US, Britian, and Sweden) that we table this discussion, enjoy our frienship, and move on to the next disagreement. I am sure that this topic will be visited and revisited many times.

        Be well my friend. Bob.
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          Aug 21 2012: Thank You Robert. This is not only a sensible solution, it is, as always, a kind one. I will abide by it in this context. But please take note: The priorites should always be clear and ordered.
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        Aug 21 2012: Duly noted. Thank you.
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      Aug 21 2012: Hi Bob these are links to the statements made to the swedish police by the complainants. I copied them from below as they were posted well before you entered this conversation and I thought you would be interested.
      http://rixstep.com/1/20110131,00.shtml
      http://rixstep.com/1/20110204,02.shtml
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        Aug 22 2012: Thank you. In the states this would be on a report. Is this a common format that is used by police. Are these documents routinely released to the press in a on going investigation. In the comments someone wrote was .... there are all sort of entries on the side that interviewers asked .... these are not included.

        If everything I read was accurate the case was completely blown by the police and would, if proven, thrown out by any judge. Defense could be a first year law student and win this one. I am concerned that the victims rights as we know them have also been violated.

        This was very informative as you suggested. Thanks again.

        Bob.
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    Aug 20 2012: Really a silly comment.
    • Aug 20 2012: Agreed! A litte respect for other viewpoints would not go amiss. Try and curb your enthusiasm for a witty putdown. It gives the impression that you have a lot of growing up to do.
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      Aug 20 2012: Are you really prepared to discuss reality and are you prepared to take responsibility for your retorts by making clear to whom to are speaking?
      Are you not the witty person who just told someone below that you and your buddyies laughed at their input. I am not using witty putdowns simply speaking from facts and one of those facts is that my own family members are embassy employees who count on this sanctity for their lives.

      Addition: The editing and rearranging of comments by TED staff in this case has done serious disservice to the conversation and to the participants. Just SO YOU KNOW _ WE NOTICED!
  • Aug 20 2012: For the record: These links will clarify rape under Swedish law and how Assange may be implicated.

    http://justice4assange.com/Sexual-Offences.html

    http://justice4assange.com/Allegations.html
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      Aug 20 2012: i find it hard to condemn Assange for "paranoia" after having watched that TED talk where he was the one who helped to expose the murder- the willful murder of 2 news employees which had been denied and covered up for months. What more evidence does someone need of the tactics by the 'other side'?

      It should never be "My country right or wrong: unless it is also :"You are my country so I will work to keep you on the right track" Anyone who thinks Assange should put his head into the noose voluntarily is probably still for the Iraq war and your opinon holds little weight with those of us who want evidence and who think killing in excess of 150.000 citizens of another country to redeem 3,000 killed by rogue citizens of a third country is wrong. It may make you uncomfortable but in the whole scheme of things sex without a condom is not equivalent to or deserving of MURDER.
      • Aug 20 2012: [DS] It may make you uncomfortable but in the whole scheme of things sex without a condom is not equivalent to or deserving of MURDER.

        [JC] Quite so Debra. On the other hand, sex that is forced upon a woman against her will, while not equating to murder, is an act that is deserving of the opprobrium of society. I am sure that past good deeds are worth recognising but they cannot and do not expunge future bad deeds. We don't do good things in the hope that we can barter our past against future misdeeds.

        Assange has been running his mouth publicly from the Ecuadorian embassy today. It was widely reported in all of the UK media. Strangely, none of the newspapers are impressed with Assange and his railing against the US. They all noted that he had no words for the Swedish government and the sexual misconduct issues they are seeking to resolve.

        Having read much of Assange's vitriol and invective, I conclude that Assange is a deeply unpleasant individual, who clearly believes his own press and you can be sure that he would not be on my Christmas card list.
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          Aug 21 2012: We are dealing with facts, here, I hope. The Assange case never had the overtones of rape which you continue to regurgitate for whatever spurious reasons. It was
          CONSENTUAL sex which went badly mid coitus and NO ONE has ever asserted that it was lovely or that Assange was. Apparently we are discussing 2 one night stands at a conference.
          As to his 'running his mouth' all citizens of this planet who are unconvicted of any crime appear to have that right. Do they NOT?
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      Aug 20 2012: Jeff:
      I could comment on your link - but it seems you are not here to learn.

      At least I've just had a good laugh with a few friends on your expense - using that link as a source of information is a joke, and I just hope you don't argue for a living.
      • Aug 20 2012: Sophia:
        [SG] I could comment on your link - but it seems you are not here to learn.

        At least I've just had a good laugh with a few friends on your expense - using that link as a source of information is a joke, and I just hope you don't argue for a living.

        [JC] I suppose your condescending tenor has a purpose but I must admit, it escapes me.

        I was providing links that detailed several things because of Debra's point.

        [DS] Assange is not charged with our version of sexual assault. In fact, he is not charged nor is he a sex offender.

        [JC] The links provided some clarity concerning the way that Sweden views sexual offences and the allegations against Assange.

        The allegations include a link to the police report: http://rixstep.com/1/20110204,04.shtml

        Which happens to include links to the testimony of...

        Sofia Wilén: http://rixstep.com/1/20110131,00.shtml
        Anna Ardin: http://rixstep.com/1/20110204,02.shtml
        Julian Assange: http://rixstep.com/1/20110130,01.shtml

        Several additional witness statements are also available.
        Source of the information is irrelevant to the facts presented and it is the facts that will assist TEDsters to decide for themselves where the truth is located.

        The guesswork, beliefs and feelings of the observers is not valid.
        • Aug 22 2012: I will grant you, that for the purpose of discussion here at TED, the source of these witness statements is not relevant. However, according to everything I have ever read about police procedure, releasing witness statements is strictly forbidden and can jeopardize the investigation. Under Swedish law, could the release of these statements result in dismissal of the charges?
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    Aug 19 2012: Can you imagine the diplomatic impact if Assange was extradited by Sweden (after the British invade the Equadorian embassy) to the US where he is executed for treason and then posthumously he was exonerated by the Swedish courts. What a loverly mess that would be!
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      Aug 21 2012: I wonder if it would even amount to a mess, Peter. Dead and buried and forgotten like all those American blacks who were falsely accused, convicted and executed under their laws which were posthumously found out to be innocent. DEAD and BURIED and NO one cares one whit.These are the STAKES.
  • Aug 18 2012: Debra, our justice systems stand or fall on how they deal with corruption among the officials. Along the way, there are numerous people who help to operate the system and humans are sometimes weak. The failure of the system to deliver everything that is expected of it all of the time is a given. The strength of the system is how it deals with failure of any part of the machinery that dispenses justice.

    Is the UK system of justice institutionally corrupt? I don't believe so but there have been many well-publicised failures in recent times. I can see that the system is trying to repair itself and though its failings depress me, I have to support the general objectives of the system so that it can see that it is worthwhile repairing itself and that the people want it to be a robust and reliable system.

    I do believe that the Swedish system of justice also tries hard to be honourable and worthy of the support of the population. So here is where I am... I think that Julian Assange is more than a little paranoid about the motives of the Swedish justice system (preferring to muddy the waters by bleating about his likely extradition to the USA) perhaps because he knows that he did something wrong in the face of USA laws. I also think that any normal person who was innocent of potential criminal charges would be eager to prove their own innocence and it is noticeable that Assange is not yet doing anything of the sort.

    On its face, the Swedish justice system has done what it would do in any other similar case. I don't believe that they should be extending any special privileges to Mr Assange and neither do I see them having to do any more than requesting him to answer some relevant question so that they can either close their investigation or prosecute Assange.

    The speeding fine was dishonest. It may be easier to accept the fine and the insurance hike but in the name of all that is dear to me, I could not accept such a situation. I demand honesty in all public office.
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      Aug 19 2012: Jeff, In fact I truly appreciate your stance and ethics in this matter.
      As to fighting further, you are talking to the girl with more spunk than any you ever met, I assure you BUT there comes a time when the might of an entire system weighing against one individual who blundered into it without intension or duplicity - is just tooo much. And THEY COUNT ON IT. They will make you just go away. I recently heard of a case where an internal dissenter stood up and he was utterly deleted from their system so that he not only does not have a job but also has no pension. Just as in my own case, who really knows what happened? We like to err on the side of caution and that ensures it continues.
  • Aug 18 2012: Jeff: "I am not asking Assange to turn himself in. I am asking that he make suitable arrangements for answering the questions that the Swedish justice system are entitled to ask him."

    I can agree with this. Since Assange is claiming to be completely innocent, he should have no objection to answering questions while sitting in Ecuador's embassy in the UK. I can understand why both parties would insist on keeping this exchange private, but Ecuador should at least be given a transcript of this interview.

    The one drawback I can imagine is that Assange would not be subject to Swedish law while the interview is taking place, and any laws regarding his truthfulness or lack of cooperation would not apply.

    There is the very practical matter that Assange had better be able to persuade the representatives of Ecuador that he is not using them to cover up a rape.
    • Aug 19 2012: Barry, the Ecuadorian dimension, while an unexpected complication, should not preclude Assange from talking directly with the Swedish authorities. Telephone, computer and satellite technology is sufficiently reliable for an uninterrupted conversation to take place.

      Even though Swedish sovereign laws would not apply on Ecuador's soil, it would be the general case that criminal investigations require truthfulness. If Assange used the wriggle-room provided by not actually being subject to Swedish law (while being questioned) to tell lies, it would clearly not be in the spirit of the investigation which seeks to determine the facts of the case and would demonstrate that Assange was unwilling to deal honestly with his accusers.

      It is possible that inaction and dishonesty by Assange would lead to a Swedish request to Interpol to arrest him and his hiding in an embassy would not afford him any protection. The situation would be that Assange would become a wanted man internationally and that would give some vestige of legal jurisdiction to any internationally recognised law enforcement body (the FBI for example) and Assange could find himself the subject of an international manhunt.

      Were Ecuador to be provided with clear evidence of a rape by the Swedish authorities, then the Ecuadorians would be in a very difficult position. In that circumstance their adopted position is likely to become completely untenable and they would have little choice but to expel Assange from their country.
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        Aug 19 2012: In fact there is excellent precident for faxes working as legal documents from the field of Real Estate Law.
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      Aug 19 2012: we all know it does not work that way with the state. they insist to follow the protocol, which is: they lock you up first, and then they ask questions. based on the answers, they decide to let you leave or not. it is not an option that swedish authorities hand out a list of questions, or arrange a skype interview, or even walk in the embassy for the questioning. there is no such offer for assange to refuse.
      • Aug 19 2012: Krisztián, let's accept it as a given... that the situation is exactly as you describe, then Assange has nothing to fear if he is innocent.

        I have not experienced any difficulties with the authorities in any of the scandinavian countries in which I have worked. I don't believe that if a sworn affidavit was submitted by Assange that it would be ignored. Speaking as a European, Sweden has (in my memory) always been considered to be the most socially liberal of the Nordic countries whereas countries which were behind the iron curtain were not considered to be socially liberal.

        You will know that in 1981 the Hungarian Samizdat journal, Beszélő was born with the following words: “We wish to assist the quietly clamoring masses in painting a better picture of themselves in a period when two tiny minorities – the country’s leadership and the opposition – are loudly arguing with each other.” It called for János Kádár to resign as General Secretary of the Communist party and discussed freedom of speech, constitutionalism, social security, civil rights and the protection of the interests of employees.

        Against such a background, Krisztián, I can see why "THE STATE" may present you with a problem when it comes to the authorities and whether they should be believed. Protocols are very much a feature of totalitarian states and it is worth pointing out that Sweden does not deserve the appellation, 'totalitarian state'.

        In my view, it is far better to deal with the situation that exists... rather than wish for one that does not exist or deal with a problem that only exists within the mind of the person observing the situation (perhaps wrongly). In other words, I don't think it right to impute the Swedish authorities with your own insecurities because it does not permit the Swedish justice system to work as it should... that is without the fetters of the additional baggage you would bring to it if you are suspicious of every request that they make.
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          Aug 19 2012: i AM innocent and man am I paying!
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          Aug 19 2012: you didn't experience any difficulties because you live according to the rules set by authorities, and you accept their methods. should you walk on the edge, and had skirmish with the state, you would be just as cautious as assange is. especially after the case of the pirate bay. if you plan to upset americans, you better do it outside of sweden, it seems.

          what i have said about the workings of the state is fact. there is a procedure to follow, the state never negotiates this protocol. there is no such thing as discussion on some neutral territory. they require that the discussion takes place in a police station. you disagree to that?

          just for the record, swedish law is somehow scary and ridiculous at the same time. the assange case is "sexual assault", but it is only the tag attached to the law, its content is something else. the actual charge is something like he had sex with his sleeping girlfriend. i mean come on now.
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        Aug 19 2012: Krisztian, this is the fundamental nexus of our disagreement on life in a society and we both realize that.
        I feel that government and authorities are us and you appear to think that they take on a life of their own. I see some of what you contend from my own experience however, I still feel strongly that as this is our own creation and as we pay for it, we are still responsible to change it for the better.
        We can demand that they change their way of doing things as Jeff is insisting. I am closer to his point of view than yours and I have lived these horrifying experiences that you may have not and I STILL believe that they represent our best hope.
        If I do not like the Assange situation= and I do NOT, I am requesting and reasoning for this set of societal contructs to be altered so that it does not kill the human beings inside of it simply because it is rolling. It is like saying that a tow motor cannot be steered and I am not willing to let it crush people but rather I want to find a new way to steer that machine that we all built.

        BTW I am not certain that your reporting of the situation is accurate because I read that 2 women were involved and it had something to do with Swedish law which requires a condom. I am not in anyway certain of my facts either.
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          Aug 19 2012: the authorities are certainly not me. for one, i would never ever hurt or threaten a guy that smokes pot. the government here does, in no small degree. i don't care who authorized them to do that, but i didn't.

          yeah, a girl said to him: condom! and he ignored. what does that make him? in my book, a total douchebag. surely not a criminal.
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      Aug 20 2012: Assange has repeatedly over and over agreed to do exactly this.
  • Aug 18 2012: Barry, the limits imposed by TED should not imply that I have ignored anything. :)))

    [BP] Assange has stated his rationale: he claims that he is being persecuted for political reasons and that the sexual assault charges have been trumped up as a ruse to provide a legal means of getting Assange into custody in Sweden

    [JC] Carl Bildt (Sweden's Foreign minister) said:

    "The fact is that there is a case brought by two women of sexual assault. That has been taken out by the prosecutor who wants to ask Mr Assange what really happened.

    "I fail to see why Mr Assange, if he is as innocent as he claims, doesn't answer to those requests.
    "Some might consider it no crime and have a different view of these things but sexual assault is considered a serious crime.

    That appears to me to be the basis of requiring Mr Assange to face his accusers. Assange appears to be using the possibility of being extradited from Sweden to the USA as an obfuscating strategy. Sweden's own laws do not permit extradition to any country where the person to be extradited may face the death penalty. It is worth stating that Assange's extradition is not for charges relating to sexual assault but for the purpose of questioning him for allegations relating to sexual assault. If he is innocent, then he has nothing to fear from being asked the questions which Sweden's prosecution service would want to put to him.

    [BP] So we can conclude that the evidence available at this time is insufficient for Assange to be charged.

    [JC] Assange may have committed a serious crime in Sweden. It is not unreasonable for the Swedish authorities to want to question him and to take the relevant steps to getting him back on Swedish soil. Refusing to answer questions does not mean that there is no evidence. 'Taking the fifth' may well be a frustrating move in the USA but refusing to answer, if one is the perpetrator of a criminal act is no bar to a case proceeding, although I accept that it may alter the trial outcome.
    • Aug 18 2012: Jeff, I think you have some very good points. I think it is possible that the Swede's are doing what their laws require, nothing more and nothing less.

      I think we will just have to agree to disagree about one key point. I think it is entirely possible that the sexual assault charges are completely fabricated. Just suppose for a moment that Assange knows that the sex was completely consensual as he claims. This puts the whole situation into a very sinister context. If I were in his situation, I would be thinking that somebody wants to throw me into jail and will go to any lengths to do it. Then I would fight for my freedom in every way I possibly could. In other words, Assange's actions would appear exactly the same as they would if he were guilty of assault.

      We may never know the full truthful story of these charges. We probably will never know the true motives of President Raphael Carrea. We do know that the UK has threatened an action that could threaten the future of diplomacy. This is very strange, even bizarre.
      • Aug 18 2012: Barry, I understand the point that concerns you.

        At this juncture the Swedish prosecution service do not have an account, of the events which are alleged to have taken place, from Mr Assange. If all persons resident in (or visiting) Sweden are required to answer reasonable questions, whenever a criminal act is alleged to have taken place, I don't see how Julian Assange can have any legitimate objections. Charges cannot be laid in that jurisdiction without an appropriate investigation taking place. Not submitting to such an investigation (for whatever reason) must create doubts about the innocence of the refusing party within the collective minds of the investigating team.

        Truth has a way of becoming clear, despite all attempts to hide it. Julian Assange has a team of outstanding legal representatives (if reputation is anything to go by) and should have nothing to fear, even if the matter does proceed to a Swedish court. The law in a civilised country does not exist to trap and punish innocent people and Assange does his case no good by claiming all sorts of cloak and dagger reasons for not wishing to clear his good name.

        The USA's black ops department may well want to render him to the USA jurisdiction for Assange's sins against the USA penal code. For his crimes (real or imaginary) I suspect that the USA could get him one way or another if they really wanted to silence him.

        The freedom of Julian Assange to seek protection in a foreign embassy is not in doubt. His victory of claiming political asylum (if that is what it is) is little more than pyrrhic if it consigns Assange to live forever more within the confines of the Ecuadorian embassy. He would, in my view, be better off with a jail sentence because at least he knows that a jail term will end eventually.

        The self-imposed exile suggests to me that he is being very poorly advised. It may well have been intended as a short-term frustrating measure but it appears to have backfired.
        • Aug 22 2012: Just thought I would clarify that the women are not claiming that Assange committed rape as we know it, according to them the sex was consensual however he failed to use a condom when requested.

          There is no suggestion that after his refusal to use a condom the women retracted consent but Assange continued anyway, thereby becoming a rapist. The claim by the women is that they had requested a condom and no condom was used, which is a form of rape in Sweden that does not exist in the UK, and is punishable by up to a year in jail.

          To put this into perspective, it would be like Holland extraditing a person of a third nationality to Singapore for failing a marijuana urine test (which the Singaporean government randomly tests for in their citizens returning from overseas).
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      Aug 19 2012: I don't understand why Sweden didn't just send some one to question him while he was under house arrest for months. Sweden is only a couple of hours away afterall.
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    Aug 17 2012: A number of questions come to mind. 1) Does anyone know what the request for immunity was based on. 2) Does anyone know what agreements are in place with Equador 3) Why would any country offer assalyum to a fleeing potential criminal.

    A little history. President Raphael Carrea sponsors the Citizens Revolution. A search for social justice and supermacy of labor over capital. He has, in the last year, visted most socialist nations including Cuba and Russia.

    It is possible that he has authorized this action as a message to the world about his administration and the injustice to Julian Assange by the establishment of the capitalist nations.

    Is this true .... I don not know ... but the parts are in place. Has there been a offical statement from the embassy.

    I have not read of this and am flying blind here.

    Bob
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      Aug 18 2012: Could we then say that McCarthy is probably not hiding in Ecuador and that might also mean that they have no anti-social indoctrination, Bob?
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        Aug 18 2012: Charley McCarthy was a great puppet and I hope he is recovered. Even your guess is possible. I did say that I was flying blind and that the facts are available to suppoprt my line of thinking.

        The questions I ask at the top are important to understand the actions.

        By anti social indoctrination do you mean they take away your under arm protection upon arrival. That's just plain mean.

        "T" Bob
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          Aug 18 2012: I am not aware of any deoderant seizing policies and it is my impression is that the Ecuadorians are lovely people with all the internal political debate in their country that we have in ours.
          But Bob, they have universal HEALTHCARE for EVERYONE at 65 and they have normalized realtions with CUBA just as Canada has - and we have had it for most of my lifetime and guess what? No pinko commie has pillaged here! Except maybe a bit when that acquaintance of mine who was in the FBI violated our boarders in pursuit of a 'bad guy.

          :)
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      Aug 19 2012: The application for asylum is based on the possibility that Assange could be charged with a capital offence by the US. and that the motivation for the charges is political rather than legal. As Assange just published the material and didn't acquire it himself, in most other western countries he wouldn't even be charged, let alone charged with a capital offence.
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        Aug 20 2012: Peter, Wasn't the charge for sexual assault? That is a capital offence not a political charge. Does the Ecuadorian government have documentation that was presented in the courts that proved Assange was innocent of the sexual assault and was a political target of the United States and the other countries involved.

        I have not followed this but as I recall the two women charging him with rape are both from Sweden. The follow one charge as I understand it will be jumping bail. The US has not charged Assange with naything. The have caught Mr Manning and have detained him in releasing seccret materials. They have not as yet proven any connection to Manning and Assange.

        The issue at hand is two women have been raped and charge him of the act in Swedish court. He escaped the country and is now wanted for those charges. Britian is acting on those charges.

        The US at some point will most likely want to talk to him. But right now he is making his own problems none of which is associated with the US..

        Did I miss something.

        Bob
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          Aug 20 2012: Cables have been released in the Australian press indicating a US investigation regarding treason charges against Assange. This potential charge is the capital crime the Equadoreans have granted asylum over.
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        Aug 20 2012: 1.betrayal of country: a violation of the allegiance owed by somebody to his or her own country, e.g. by aiding an enemy.
        2.treachery: betrayal or disloyalty
        3.act of betrayal: an act of betrayal or disloyalty

        I am not sure that if the definations above are correct that Assange could be charged with treason as he is not a US citizen that I know of. I believe him to be Austrailian. Mr Manning however, in releasing US secret documents, could very well be charged with treason.

        A investigation is certainly not a charge. Again the US has not caused Mr Assanges problem. All of his legal wounds are self inflected.

        Bob.
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    Aug 17 2012: Because it is not every day an embassy gives diplomatic protection to a person, who is wanted in connection with rape.
    An embassy exists due to corporation with the host country, and is obligated to not interfere in national issues.
    England made a law allowing it to revoke an embassy's diplomatic status under the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987. This act was passed by Parliament after a Libyan embassy crisis three years before, when a PC was shot dead from inside the Libyan embassy.

    Sweden and the US does not have that strong bonds, Sweden is still a neutral country. So it seems more than far stretched to argue that the US should be involved in a case about rape and sexually assault in Sweden, and a UK courts decision to extradite Assanger.

    There is no demand from the United States that Assanger should be extradited to the US.
    But let's face it: if Assanger is guilty, he would use this argument to avoid facing charges.
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      Aug 17 2012: If an embassy is by definition actually part of another country, how could a law passed in another country be valid there? I am not being difficult and I do agree that evil doers should be brought to justice but the world decided centuries ago to not allow other countries to touch diplomats because then none would ever be safe. We all need diplomats to be able to deal effectively and safely in other countries (If the so called good guys erode those understandings what does one think will happen in the rest of the wild world?)
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    Aug 16 2012: NO! An embassy and its lands are a part of another country by international convention.
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    Aug 16 2012: Wouldn't that be a threat to embassy personnel safety then, what if it's bring your child to work day !
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    Aug 16 2012: 1) Hostage rescue; 2) emergency evacuation; 3) any threat to embassy personnel safety.
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      Aug 16 2012: Yeah I can see those 3 making sense but a sexual assault investigation that hasn't even progressed to charges yet seems abit odd.
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        Aug 16 2012: My list was only three items. If a suspected sexual predator took refuge inside number 3 might apply?
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      Aug 16 2012: In those cases they still need to be invited in.`
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        Aug 16 2012: Mr. Henry suggests, above, that there is legal provision for unilateral extradition of a fugutive from justice, particularly if the building "stops being used exclusively for the purposes of its mission." Diplomacy is a meticulously courteous business. I'm sure the host country will observe the formality of asking permission to take custody of the fugitive. Should that request be denied I imagine the next step would be to declare the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 to have been violated and proceed with the apprehension of the fugitive. Seekers of political asylum would, of course, not be considered fugitives from justice. Sounds fair to me.
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          Aug 16 2012: I am a student in this but it scares the willies out of me because my son and daughter-in-law are both diplomats.
          Can you imagine the potential interpretations possible in countries like Saudi?
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        Aug 16 2012: Debra,
        I'm sure there is no cause for alarm. These embassy agreements afford great advantage to both nations. I doubt the Saudis (etc) would jeopardize relations with Canada, or the U.S. There are probably deep black ops in place for just such an improbable scenario. By the time the formalities are over the building is vacant! Sleep well friend.-Edward
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          Aug 17 2012: I am honestly more fearful of first world countries taking liberties which will be expanded by those who think that the rule of law is no longer valid if the big boys do not play fair.
        • Aug 17 2012: I must agree with Debra. The future ramifications of this case are very frightening.
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        Aug 17 2012: Debra,
        I think your uneasiness may be traceable to your definition of "fair." Your version of fair play prevents, under any and all circumstances, a host nation from demanding entry into a foreign nation's embassy. That is not correct. Exceptions, rare as they might be, must be allowed. Diplomatic immunity is not carte blanche authority to disregard the laws of the host nation. Maybe this will help: QUOTE: "Diplomacy is a disguised war, in which states seek to gain by barter and intrigue, by the cleverness of arts, the objectives which they would have to gain more clumsily by means of war."--Randolph Bourne
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          Aug 17 2012: You may have something there Edward but this is nothing new to me in my life. I am always handcuffed by my own definition of fair and that is usually because I allow it. It goes back to my value system which I utterly live by.
          I categorically reject that quote as the sort of slippery slide that takes us all into situations like this. I sometimes really worry about what I did to my kids in giving them my value system.
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        Aug 17 2012: Debra, I think I have conclusively proven to you in several prior coversations that I can be wrong. Please don't let my opinon cause you distress. I simply think there are times when the sanctity of an embassy can be set aside for the greater good. This is just a coversation over coffee among friends. It is mostly sound and fury, signifying nothing. Your kids have adopted what they want from your value system. You have nothing to worry about. Sorry about the quote. I agree with it because it points out the true purpose of diplomacy which is not dinner parties, but intelligence gathering. Be joyful Debra, enjoy, and share, your vibrant views of life!--Edward
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          Aug 17 2012: You might just be the absolutely sweetest man I know and I do adore you. I did not say that the quote was not right- I just reject that approach.
          You make me wish I lived in your sphere but then I would probably want to marry one of your friends and that would be so bad for I could probably only really love a conservative who was as courtly and sweet as you are and you are one of a kind!