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Do you guys remember when the airplane of president Morales, was forced down in Vienna when he was on a flight home? Breaking diplomatic immunity, hospitality etc.

Just because CIA believed Assange was in that flight, that Morales would help him escape.

EDIT: My mistake, that was for Snowden, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales_grounding_incident




They believed Snowden was on-board, and to make the plane go to Wien, the Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian governments were pressured to deny Morales right of passage and pressured him to allow the plane to be searched. The governments of half of Europe fold like a cheap suit to the interests of the US intelligence services.


> The governments of half of Europe fold like a cheap suit to the interests of the US intelligence services

The governments of most of Western Europe have geopolitical interests strongly allied to the US.

> Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian

So, all members of SIGINT Seniors Europe except Portugal.


>The governments of most of Western Europe have geopolitical interests strongly allied to the US

The governments of most of Western Europe have a long history of selling out their national interests (especially the weak bureaucrats and career politicians put in place past the 80s, not someone like De Gaulle). In exchange they get US support for their campaigns, handouts, and some trinkets for their peoples. In lesser countries, e.g. Balkans, periphery, etc, stability guarantees are also given ("you wouldn't want something bad to happen between you and your neighbors now, would you?", or "You'd like to have those investments keep coming in, right?").

And when some larger countries try to get out of this stronghold, e.g. trying to buy the cheapest oil from where they want (even if the US doesn't like it), or pay in Euros as opposed to dollars, they are quickly shown their place...


Which is why the US hates on Russia and China so much. They're their biggest competitors.


Is it in the interests of European governments for the US government to spy on European governments and citizens? Cool-cool-cool.


I mean, I don't want to go all _Tu quoque_ here, but if you think that's a one-way street then I think you're being a little naive. Examples (in English) from two German news sources:

https://www.dw.com/en/austria-angry-at-germany-over-enormous... https://www.thelocal.de/20170622/germany-spied-on-the-white-...


Yeah, just one is a superpower, with the budget for this of 10 western states combined, and the others are not. Also one side has bases in all of the others, the others do not have their bases at that side, and so on...


AFAIR, the idea is that they all spy on each other so that they cannot be accused of spying on their own citizen. So when Germany needs to know more about one of their citizens they can ask the USA.


It's in the interests of European governments to continue a good relationship with the US government, obviously. That's what "allied" means.


In the same way it's in the interests of shop-owners to continue a good relationship with the mafia. During the cold war, if an "ally" didn't have a good relationship, they could see their government undermined, pressured in all kinds of ways, or even toppled with their support. Not much different today, though it's less in the open.

"Allied" can mean a lot of things, but it can also be forced upon populations, have them dragged into wars for your side's interests, and so on. Not everything is what it writes on the tin.


Yeah, I remember. A disgrace on several levels. I really wish a European country would have had the spine to give Snowden asylum.

Not the same issue as Assange of course, unless, as Assange claims, this too is the long arm of the US secretly trying to get whistleblowers extradited. I'm not sure that's the case here, though; I think the Swedish rape allegations have merit, and unlike Snowden, I don't think Assange has broken any US laws for which he can be extradited; he's just doing journalist work. Sloppily and with grandstanding megalomania, perhaps, but that's not illegal and thus no basis for extradition.


> I don't think Assange has broken any US laws for which he can be extradited

There is a sealed indictment of Assange in US district court that was inadvertently leaked when some documents were improperly redacted. [1]

There were later reports based on chat logs that Assange solicited or participated in hacking attempts to obtain email documents during the 2016 political campaign.[2]

Active solicitation of or participation in illegal hacking is a crime in US law and there is no exception for 'journalists'.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/politics/julian-assang...

[2] https://emma.best/2018/11/15/sealed-files-show-assange-and-w...


> I think the Swedish rape allegations have merit

I'm no expert in Swedish law, I trust their legal system, and the legal system in the UK to respond to the demands of the EAW

> and unlike Snowden, I don't think Assange has broken any US laws for which he can be extradited;

If he could, the U.S. could have just as easily extradited him from the UK


If i recall correctly Assange's troubles with US started after this leak "Collateral murder" :

https://collateralmurder.wikileaks.org


The Swedish rape allegations were an obvious sham and have already been dropped years ago. Usually when this happens the case is just dropped, yet the UK really pressed in arresting Assange for "failing to appear in court", which is most countries is a minor thing (the accused is not punished for lying in court or missing court dates). I think it's obvious that any excuse will do for extraditing him to the US, to make an example of him. But so much time has passed and the case is so public now that I at least hope the UK will save face and free him instead of extraditing him.


have already been dropped years ago

They dropped the investigation and the arrest warrant, not the charges. The investigation can still be reopened and he can still be questioned and charged if he returns to Sweden before the statutes of limitations run out.


It's extra interesting now because the US is now led by a government that is alleged to have illegal foreign help during the election campaign, notably through Wikileaks. I don't think the current president would want Assange extradited.


Weren’t the rape allegations dropped because the statute of limitations finally expired?

Sorry if I didn’t use the right terminology.


The statute of limitations has run out on some of the minor charges, but not the more serious one. While Sweden has closed the case and dropped the international arrest warrant, if he returns to Sweden before August 2020 he can still be questioned and charged on the remaining allegation.


Agreed. Its just more proof, (as if we needed it) that the UK is just a little puppet for the US. The police standing outside that embassy were justified on the Swedish extradition request, which has since been withdrawn. All of a sudden now a US extradition request has appeared. We should all take responsibility for this frankly, in my opinion, atrocity this man is a part of our community, the hacker community, this is not only an attack on press freedoms, but the hacker community too.

We need to be more vigilent, more aware, stronger and never forget.


The bigger guns always win. They can talk about the UN and international law all they want but in the end people notice the gun on your belt, not the paper on the table. It's been that way since the dawn of times.

They can do that to Bolivia but just try to force Air Force One to land...


US and UK military power has always dwarfed Ecuador's.

For seven years, Assange was protected by nothing but paper, so it does seem to have some heft.

I guess Assange obnoxiousness is more powerful than a US carrier group. The former finally got it done when the latter couldn't.


The UK wasn't going to launch an assault on a foreign embassy in the middle of London, was it? Power is not the same as recklessness.

Now, a covert operation in a third country when there are no cameras around, on the other hands...


He should not have agreed to forced landing and plane search. That was a weak move.


It was Snowden, and it was a terrible situation. The fact it landed in Vienna is even more ironic.

Just another example of the US bullying other countries, and Americans get all pissy with the GDPR.


There is a big difference between preventing a single plane from landing at its preferred destination, and attempting to dictate how businesses worldwide must operate.


Like the DMCA?




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