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.