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I would like to locate all HN comments which said he never would get arrested on behalf of the US, and that Assange objections was all just pretense for trying to escape justice from the UK/Swedish legal system.

Yeah, moments before the arrest, many people in this thread were accusing him of paranoia/manipulative intents:

>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 [0]. 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.

The one about the CIA arresting or disappearing a man living in an Ecuadorian embassy in the center of London is interesting. Seems to imply the US can basically do anything anywhere and will if they want to, and really ignores the huge international fiasco from incredibly recently in the Khashoggi case.

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.

My comment was referring to the 1.5 years Assange lived openly in London, while Sweden was trying to get him extradited. I don't believe they'd storm an embassy to get him, but a couple of men grabbing him from off the street wouldn't be too out of character.

> a couple of men grabbing him from off the street wouldn't be too out of character.

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.

> The one about the CIA arresting or disappearing a man living in an Ecuadorian embassy in the center of London is interesting

Was arrested by local police and is currently sitting in UK Met Police jail.

*on request by and with permission of the Ecuadorian embassy itself

Hmm? This just goes to show that the USA didn't need to manufacture rape allegations in Sweden just in order to get Assange extradited, since their best chance of doing so was to extradite him from the UK.

"Need" and "helps improve the PR image of the action" are not synonymous.

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.

He was in Sweden at the time. The UK couldn't have extradited him from Sweden to the US.

Not saying that the Swedish charges were all manufactured, just following your hypothesis.

Ok, you'll have to explain the plan to me.

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.)

Jailing him undermines him directly by restricting his freedom. A charge of sexual misconduct will discredit him particular in the mostly-left-at-the-time circles that supported him. Having him in jail in a "friendly" nation also gives you time to prepare your proper, "iron-clad" extradition warrant... because if he is free who knows where he will be once you get your stuff ready.

PS: the "timeline issue"... asked and answered: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19633178

I think you might benefit from looking at the following timeline:


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.

What does "makes sense" have to do with a conspiracy theory?


Pre-#metoo, I saw many people turn against Assange because of the accusation.

> How does having Assange accused of rape in Sweden help the US to extradite him?

Simple, character assassination is a very effective tool to silence public outrage.

That's classic conspiracy theory reasoning. "I can think of a reason the CIA might have done it; therefore, the CIA did it."

There are far simpler ways of assassinating someone's character than manufacturing rape allegations in a foreign country.

>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.

Like? Genuinely curious.

Planting child pornography on a computer they own.

Code that would modify the browser history to do such a thing was posted on hackernews a couple years ago. I just thought you would find that interesting. I'm undecided on what to think when it comes to julian.

Well if it's just creating disapproval you want then you only need to plant the story in the press.

[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.

It is a cynical and paranoid viewpoint admittedly but not all that irrational when it is in the playbook of spies willing to commit very dirty tricks. Their secrecy and known misconduct creates a void where speculation becomes disturbingly "reasonable". Note rational and right are two different things - Stalin's father was convinced near the end of his life that his son was evil and going to murder countless people - he was right in the end.

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".

"Conspiracy theory" is not a synonym for "crazy". And his comment was the answer to your question.

I don't know the truth of what happened either, but only 2 days after he applied for a residency two girls he slept with went to the police to try to "contact him to get him to get tested for STDs" and this turned into "rape and molestation" charges claiming his condom fell off and he didn't stop having sex with them. I can not tell if a condom falls off either unless I look, and I generally don't have sex with the light on. I'm not sure if I'm weird or not, but the investigation was closed.

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...

> claiming his condom fell off and he didn't stop having sex with them.

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.

How do you reconcile your "only to tell him to get tested for STDs" with today's announcement by one victim's layer that she wants the rape case re-opened?

I don't need to reconcile the two. It's fact what they went to the police for originally. What they want now, is very different.

The rape charges helped to chip away at his character, isolate him and erode popular support. It's not hard to believe that intelligence services could do something like that. That's their MO.

Or maybe he actually did it and deserves to go to prison for it. Hiding in a cupboard for seven years rather than going in and facing the charges is a good way to look guilty. Blaming "foreign spies" in an attempt to hide what you did so that you don't look as bad is the kind of thing an narcissistic toolbag might do.

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.

One point, for accuracy: There were no rape charges.

Or could say USA tried all the dirty tricks

They tried the more complicated route before they tried the simple route? Assange was in the UK for approximately two years before he went into the embassy.

Months? Years! He left Sweden in September 2010; he surrendered himself to the police in December 2010 and was bailed; in May 2012 the Supreme Court dismissed his appeal; in June 2012 he entered the embassy.

Yes indeed, corrected.

Perhaps at the time that was the simpler route. It's been reported that the US intelligence agencies have been working on the extradition process in 2018, so the fact that this was easily done today doesn't mean it could've been done as easily then.

Why would extraditing him from Sweden be simpler? Under international law, the US would still have needed the UK's (as well as Sweden's) permission to extradite him from Sweden if he'd first been extradited from the UK to Sweden to face rape charges.

Not simpler to extradite him then and there, but simpler to extradite him at some point in the future, assuming the investigation would've been successful

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.

He was in Britain for over a year before he entered the embassy. As you can see now, the UK authorities would have arrested him in response to an extradition request.

Why would it be simpler in the future?

Given the politicized nature of the crimes he's charged with in the US, neither country was likely to extradite him unless they had a politically safe reason to arrest him in the first place.

So why is the US requesting extradition now? He has not been arrested in relation to the rape allegations.

It's for an alleged "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion" with Chelsea Manning where the US claims he helped Manning get access to a passphrase so they could get some more documents[1]. We found out -- though it was criminally under-reported -- in 2018 that a case had been filed by the DOJ[2], but it's now public.

[1]: https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/wikileaks-founder-julian... [2]: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/nov/16/julian-assange...

No, I mean that the US doesn't have any more of a "politically safe" reason for extraditing him than it ever did, so far as I can see.

Or an electoral campaign around the corner...

Without the rape allegations, what crime would have led to the UK arresting Assange, enabling him to be extradited? Even with the allegations, the process of extraditing him to Sweden took ages.

The computer misuse crimes which the US is currently using to try to have him extradited on?

He can be arrested directly as a result of an extradition request. (If this weren't possible, it would rarely be possible to extradite anyone.) I think you're perhaps unaware that an extradition request is required to present evidence that the person in question has done something that is a crime under both US and UK law. It is not merely a request to move someone from one country to another.

The ease by which the US can extradite him from the UK is precisely why I thought poorly of the claim that he felt his life was endangered by going to Sweden.

The UK makes the US go through the legal extradition process, whereas Sweden has been happy to just let the CIA fly in and kidnap people completely outside the legal process.


So why didn't they just do that while he was in Sweden? Having him under arrest in Sweden would make it more difficult, not easier.

Because as of leaving Sweden, they had only released the Collateral Murder video. The Iraq War documents and Cablegate happened while he was in the UK.

But then (according to the conspiracy theory) they could have engineered false rape accusations in any country that Assange had previously visited -- and that's a long list. It seems unlikely that Sweden would be at the top of the list. It seems far more likely that he just so happens to have raped a woman in Sweden while visiting.

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.

Other countries didn't have recently closed cases to reopen that also allow extraordinary rendition.

But the rape allegations were manufactured, right? There was no particular reason to manufacture them in Sweden just because that was the country Assange was in immediately before he went to the UK.

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.

> But the rape allegations were manufactured, right?

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.

>Not likely.

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.

>Not really.

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 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?

That says that the Swedish military stopped _a_ rendition flight, because their rules weren't being followed.

Nowhere does it say that rendition flights are off the table in Sweden anymore.

>An acute diplomatic crisis broke out between the United States and Sweden in 2006 when Swedish authorities put a stop to CIA rendition flights [...]

> 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.

The scenario was that he would get extradited to Sweden, the case finds him not guilty, and then get extradited to the US. Assange tried to get the Swedish government to openly declare that this would not occur, and the Government replied that they could not make such statement. The argument generally comes that once existing legal proceeding are done, the agreement between Sweden and the US allow for extradition.

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.

Sweden has a history of bending over backwards for the US. Such as the illegal arrests monocasa references, the raids on the pirate bay, and changing their laws on US recommendation.

From my perspective, the UK also has such a history.

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”.

The UK previously didn't allow extraditions with the death penalty as an option, or extraordinary renditions, whereas Sweden allowed extraordinary renditions.

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-...

I might be mis-reading the article, but it doesn't indicate that the policy on requiring pre-extradition guarantees against the death penalty since the people in question were never extradited from the UK in the first place.

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.

You're missing the point. Sweden would have been unable to protect him. Intelligence agencies do not just follow one plan, they have a whole bundle of contingencies ready for execution in case a politician wants to hear some options.

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.

How does that differ from the current situation in the UK?

Arest footage: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/media/ruptly-rt-julian-assang...

>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."

Fair. 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? Arest footage/story:


>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

I can't make out what he's saying in the video, but maybe something about the "Trump administration?"

What people were saying is that his argument (If I go to Sweden the U.S. will extradite me) is baloney.

It was. The U.S. could easilly extradite him from the UK.

Exactly, note that he entered the embassy on 19th june 2012 and the warrant was at court on 29th just 10 days after.

The second statement doesn't follow from the first. He was both wanted for questioning in a rape investigation _and_ wanted for extradition to the US.

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.

I think what you are saying is he should have been extradited to Sweden not the US?

Apparently those charges were dropped?


> The investigation into the allegation of rape, as of 19 May 2017, has been dropped by Swedish authorities.

It wasn't dropped in the sense that the prosecutors dropped their charges. It was dropped in the sense that the case was put in a dormant state. It can be re-opened, until August 2020 I believe.

Not just that, but the original accuser dropped her charges long before the Swedish authorities gave up.


Yes, that's rape in Sweden, and some other sex crime in all other civilized countries.

Dismissing this act reflects poorly upon you, though.

Honest question, as I'm not familiar with swedish law. If a man consents to have sex with a woman that claims to be taking birth control pills and later he finds out she really wasn't, can she be accused of rape?

Not familiar, either, but probably not.

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.


If someone consents to sex with specific requirements like "you must wear a condom", and they secretly violate those requirements, how is that not non-consensual?


Rape is non-consensual sex. Violence is not required - sex with a sleeping person, for example, or sex with a toddler.


> The sex was consensual.

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.

"Consent issues" are rape. That's pretty much non-controversial, outside the incel rape fantasy boards.

> I would like to locate all HN comments which said he never would get arrested on behalf of the US

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.

Yeah 'never' is a long time.

He's used up. His masters don't need him anymore, except as an 'example' that 'law and order prevails.'

It's a joke.

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