>He claimed that his reason to do so was to avoid extradition to the US, but Sweden wasn't allowed to extradite him without UK's permission first . He could've gone to Sweden and face the charges, and avoided this whole thing. But he had to make himself look like a victim of a conspiracy instead, and his followers eats it up.
>If this truly was some sort of grand conspiracy to get him extradited to the US, I'd imagine the CIA has more reliable and straightforward methods of arresting/disappearing someone.
>He was before he ran to the embassy, skipping bail, on the pretext that if the UK extradited him to Sweden, Sweden would extradite him to the U.S. That's an invalid pretext.
And beyond HN, journalists have some interesting articles too. The Guardian's James Ball in 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/10/julian...
>The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US, charges in Sweden have been dropped – and for the embassy, he’s lost his value as an icon
>Assange does not want to be trapped in Ecuador’s embassy, and his hosts do not want him there. Their problem is that what’s keeping him trapped there is not so much the iniquitous actions of world powers, but pride. Perhaps it’s not Ecuador and the UK that need a mediator, but rather Ecuador and Assange.
I like the think the people manning our intelligence agencies are a fair bit better than that personally.
Although having read “Legacy of Ashes”, there certainly are some very interesting moments in CIA history.
It probably would be out of character for them to do that in one of their 5-eyes partner's countries. Keeping that relationship is high priority for the US because they get tons of intelligence in return.
Plus kidnapping a 'terrorist' and kidnapping a 'journalist' (air-quotes for both) are two different things in how the world will respond. The outcry over the Italian terrorist kidnapping was pretty small but taking Assange off the streets of London would be huge.
Was arrested by local police and is currently sitting in UK Met Police jail.
I am not saying it was the case or that the argument has merits. I am saying that the argument I've heard concerning this incident is not being fairly represented by the claim that the USA needed to manufacture crimes allegations in Sweden.
Not saying that the Swedish charges were all manufactured, just following your hypothesis.
How does having Assange accused of rape in Sweden help the US to extradite him?
Assange was traveling between lots of countries at the time. It's not as if he was permanently based in Sweden. And Assange being accused of a crime in Sweden does not in any way make it easier for the US to extradite him from Sweden on other charges.
edit: Also, the usual conspiracy story was that the CIA/the Illuminati/whoever had directed Sweden to reopen the rape case after Assange had arrived in the UK. (The case was dropped before he left Sweden, then reopened shortly after he arrived in the UK.)
PS: the "timeline issue"... asked and answered:
Note that Assange was in the UK, in full reach of the authorities, for over a year before he claimed asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. The story you're cooking up simply makes no sense in that context.
Simple, character assassination is a very effective tool to silence public outrage.
There are far simpler ways of assassinating someone's character than manufacturing rape allegations in a foreign country.
Actually, I don't think there are. Rape is met with near universal disapproval, and unless the accused can prove where they are at every single moment of their life, it is difficult for them disprove the claims.
[Fake] "Wikileaks computer IPs associated with child porn ring: was Assange using Wikileaks as cover for child porn, CIA revealed they found evidence of several Wikileaks computers uploading to child porn sites"
That would probably be enough.
Even if not true it is rational to consider in the same way asking "Why would a mob boss choose to have an enemy killed?" is kind of a dumb question - the question is why not at this point.
Granted it is important to keep the speculations well ordered as there are crucial differences between levels like "proven to have done it", "proven to have done somthing like this before", and "are responsible for everything bad in the world".
Venezuela is a good example for a baseline. The regieme has proven themselves complete incompetents that have had to replace sections of civilian industry with untrained military and the CIA has toppled many South American governments. Thus while it is technically possible the CIA sabotage created a power outage maladministration is a more likely culprit especially since blaming foreign powers for internal problems to hold power is a time "honored" tradition.
For a counterfactual if the outage was followed by an invasion it would be hard to believe the CIA didn't cause if their plan was just "wait until it collapses for a peacekeeping causus beli".
This is months after some of the biggest wikileaks releases including "collateral murder" and heading into the release of the Iraq War Logs and State Department Cables. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_material_published_by_...
Then a couple months later, based on no additional information, they reopened the investigation. He ended up going into the Ecuadorian Embassy soon after the release of "Global Intelligence Files" because the USA and private intelligence agencies were after him.
None of this has anything to do with the rape charges though. He is being sent to the USA over the 2010 Manning releases because he was communicating with Manning while she was stealing the docs. If she wasn't such an attention whore, she wouldn't have even been arrested. She bragged about it on IRC...
One woman claims he intentionally tore a condom. That was a lesser charge whose statute of limitations expired a while ago.
The other claims that, after insisting reportedly they use a condom, he waited for her to fall asleep and then started having unprotected see with her -- something he knew she would not consent to. That's the rape charge.
> Then a couple months later, based on no additional information, they reopened the investigation.
The alleged rape victim was initially overwhelmed (not uncommon for a rape victim) and didn't want to press charges. A few days (not months) later, she hired an attorney to represent her who got the case reopened.
Almost all the information the public knows about the case has come directly from Assange (and thus supports his conspiracy theory explanation), since the Swedish protecting authority doesn't comment on pending cases.
It is possible for Assange to be a bad guy and also for the U.S. going after him after all this time to also be unjust and bad. Not everything is a conspiracy and you don't necessarily have any "good" people when you start messing with international espionage and related areas.
Edit: HN doesn't let me reply so deep in a thread unless I wait like 20 minutes. It'd have been simpler if he were detained as they'd have had a guarantee of his jurisdiction and plan accordingly. I imagine having him arrested in a country that had allowed CIA extraordinary rendition would've been better for them than having him protected in Ecuadorian embassy.
On top of that, it would have been impossible to abduct him while he was in Police custody in Sweden without causing a major international incident.
Frankly, I'm losing track of all the different conspiracy theories. Some people are saying that the rape allegations were necessary to discredit him prior to extradition, because the US was super sensitive to public opinion. Others (like you) are saying that the US was so insensitive to public opinion that they planned to have him abducted and/or murdered extrajudicially. All of this crap is completely made up.
Extraordinary rendition would be pretty much impossible once he was in Police custody in Sweden anyway, so I don't know why you keep referring to it.
Like I said, it's hard to keep track of all the different conspiracy theories.
Not likely. To keep it hypothetical, if an opportunity arises, you take it. Similarly, the CIA didn't start vaccination programs in the third world to later use them as a cover to look for Bin Laden, but they did take the opportunity of those program's known existence as cover for their intelligence operations in Pakistan.
> Extraordinary rendition would be pretty much impossible once he was in Police custody in Sweden anyway, so I don't know why you keep referring to it.
Not really. You can release him from custody so he's on the street again. Afterwards, just kidnap him, drive him to the airport, fly him out to the US. That's standard operating procedure for US intelligence services in Europe with multiple documented cases.
I know that it’s not likely. But a lot of people do think that the allegations were manufactured by the CIA. As I said, it is really difficult, with so many people commenting, to figure out exactly which conspiracy theory is under discussion at any given point.
I don’t mean that it’s physically impossible. I mean that it would have created an enormous international incident if the CIA abducted Assange without the cooperation of the Swedish Police, or if the Swedish Police had collaborated with the CIA to disappear a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation. Take a look at the case of Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery in 2006. The rendition of two Egyptians that no-one has heard of caused enough of a diplomatic incident that Sweden stopped CIA rendition flights.
I mean... it wasn't all that bad in the Agiza and al-Zery case for Sweden. No heads rolled in the Swedish government over the matter. And there were literally Swedish personnel assisting.
Do you have any evidence that Sweden has stopped allowing rendition flights?
Nowhere does it say that rendition flights are off the table in Sweden anymore.
> Steven V. Noble wrote in cables reveled by WkiLeaks that the Swedish government reacted strongly because rules had not been followed.
> A spokesperson from Säpo, Swedish police Intelligence Service, confirmed parts the newspaper report, adding that there have been no more extraordinary rendition flights landing in Sweden since.
I have not found any references to subsequent rendition flights involving Sweden, and it's been a good while since that article was published.
Apart from that, I don't really know what kind of confirmation you can be asking for. One cannot conclusively rule out the possibility that Sweden is still involved in extraordinary rendition, but one also cannot rule out that possibility for the UK, or for many other countries that Assange has spent time in.
This exact same chain of events will now likely happen with the UK case. Once the case of the bail jump is finished and eventual punishment served, he will be shipped to the US.
It’s a bit like avoiding jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, but neglecting that the frying pan is full of oil until the oil catches fire and then being surprised that you’re on fire.
And then saying “see, I told you about the fire”.
However the UK has recently changed it's stance on allowing death penalty extraditions. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/23/uk-will-not-...
As they're no longer British citizens, were arrested in Syria, and are already in the US awaiting trial, it doesn't seem the UK would have much basis to argue against prosecutors seeking the death penalty.
Of course, his life would have been endangered if he had been extradited to Sweden. People in the US administration were openly calling for his assassination in public TV interviews.
>Russia has long expressed support for Assange. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a Facebook post after the arrest that "the hand of 'democracy' squeezes the throat of freedom."
Real time reportage:
>According to the Guardian, after it started to seem in recent weeks that an arrest might be imminent, big UK broadcasters had formed a "pool" arrangement to take turns staking out the building. If something happened, the footage would be shared among the pool members.
>That effort appeared to have been abandoned when the arrest failed to materialize. The BBC, ITN and Sky News did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Are we not doing our ZaZen?
>It was a moment that global news organizations were desperate to show their audiences. Yet it wasn't captured by leading UK broadcasters like the BBC, Sky News or Independent Television News (ITN).
>Instead, the only media organization with video of the controversial moment was an obscure outfit called Ruptly.
Ruptly, which has carved out a niche for itself by recording events around the world and selling the footage to other broadcasters, is a subsidiary of Russian state-backed media outlet RT.
>Founded in 2013, the operation is headquartered in Berlin
It was. The U.S. could easilly extradite him from the UK.
You can both want him to face charges for rape, and also not want him to be extradited to the US.
The lack of regard for a rape case against him (mostly by male commenters, it has to be said) is very troubling.
Apparently those charges were dropped?
> The investigation into the allegation of rape, as of 19 May 2017, has been dropped by Swedish authorities.
Dismissing this act reflects poorly upon you, though.
The issue isn't birth control (alone), but foremost corporeal autonomy (the woman didn't want him to have "naked" sex, while in your example the man wanted to) and to a lesser extent the health risk.
So not taking the pill is not even close to the question of sleeping without a condom.
No, it wasn't.
If I consent to sell you my minivan, and you take my Lambo instead, that's theft even if I did consent to sell you a car.
I've never seen anyone argue that.
I've seen people argue that the idea that extradition to Sweden exposed him to greater danger of that than merely being present in the UK, and that the Swedish extradition was part of convoluted plot that existed solely so he could be extradited from Sweden to the US, was a ridiculous notion that didn't really make any sense, since if the US wanted him they would just extradite him directly from the UK. Which remains true, and is, if anything, demonstrated by today's events.
He's used up. His masters don't need him anymore, except as an 'example' that 'law and order prevails.'
It's a joke.