UK threaten to storm Ecuadorian embassy in London

The British government have threatened to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrest Wikileaks founder Julain Assange. Assange took asylum in the embassy in June in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces questioning over sexual assault claims.

The Foreign Office say they can temporarily lift the embassy's diplomatic status and enter the building legally. The Wikileaks website published numerous diplomatic cables in 2010 which were of particular embarrassment to the US government. Assange claims that he fears further extradition from Sweden to the US where he may face charges of espionage.

What do you think of Assange, is this a simple case of saint or sinner or is there more to this story than meets the eye?

Good cartoon Celeste except they look like South American police despite the uniforms :slight_smile:

Celeste ;-D

Next one is up to you Cates. Been too long since Tuuulooooose. Get your derriere down here! We are kinda "trapped" here with courses and B&B stuff. xxx

So far so good, then on the physical front. Now if you could just progress on the "where are my files" and the mis-diagnosis or mistreatment front, that would be very good. Onwards and upwards. Just reminded myself that I had some difficulty explaining idioms to said French student last week. Orgasm v. organism was easy compared to "so far, so good" and "slap on the wrist". He needed caffeine intake to deal with "a bird in the hand..." :-)

Slow work getting the shoulder back, some complications but my physio is saying we are getting there.

We made it through the week Brian. The conspircy to feed them a little champagne or Blanquette, backfired as they were tee-totallers, but other than that, it all went fine. Nice couple, our age-ish. He's 60 and she's early fifties. All went well, and they left Saturday morning. Made a few bob but exhausted. How's the shoulder these days?

Agreed Sheila, thinking of conspiracies, how are you surviving your guests?

Agreed Brian. Have had enough of this twit now! Take the alleged pressure from the US on Sweden over to the Conspiracy Corner. :-)

Well Cate, Harrods chavs or protesters, they all clutter the place one way or another. Well, many ways of understanding 'had me', but not that way, but certain as in 'took me for one' - meaning financially. At least, two of my best joint publications were paid for by them. Stockholm has the look of a city scrubbed frrom top to bottom every morning before people get up so that they don't notice the elder ladies with mops and buckets and all the nannies escorting people to their offices, etc. I have nothing against Swedes, make nice clapshot in the dead of winter!

Assange. Think we have exhausted him now, any more repetitions for enhancing comprehension exercises and I may just pop over to Knightsbridge and drag him out by the era to move the news on. ;-)

I used to work for Rädda Barnen (Save the Children) who had me there very often. Lovely people but a bureaucracy that makes French or German officialdom look like kids' stuff. I think that is a big bit of the problem, do things there way or not at all. Something happened after charges were dropped, dismissed or whatever the truth is and I smell political pressure.

John, if data are considered intellectual property then theft is possible, thus receiving stolen data would be a logically step on. Just assuming, that, stand corrected if wrong.

I may be wrong Carol but I think the accusation has gained something in translation. I’m sure the stigma associated with willful condom breaking and rape is different. If Hague were to say that Assange is wanted for willful condom breaking it wouldn't serve his purpose like the horrible accusation of rape. I don’t think the terminology is an accident. What I don't understand is that this is all about questioning, where are the charges?

Funny country Sweden. I've been there quite a few times over the last thirty years. Nice people but a bit.... disconnected I always felt. It is the nanny state on steroids (and the State does a very fine job) but do I want the State to be making all my decisions for me? Personally no.

I've pasted this in italics to try and be empathetic :-)

John I read the translated Swedish newspapers and was amazed that the authorities are even willing to consider rape charges. Assange, understandably doesnt wish to return to Sweden with the threat of extradition, in his situation I would feel the same. I agree with Zoe that whistelblowers are a neccessity in all areas of life...and some of the leaks have been essential to show what happens when somene takes their eye off the ball. The US is not the policeman for the world...if wikileaks published data that they didnt sufficiently protect...then maybe they will use this as a learning tool, I find the heavy handed way the US assume they can barge in and take charge..irritating..more so that the UK feel the need to be the lap dog to the US. Whatever one thinks of Assange, in this situation I would probably do as he is doing. Sweden needs to take a long look at their legal process, and the US need to look at data encription...and maybe the UK need to look the other way when Assange catches his plane back to Australia.

Cate, You are completely correct; the Swedish authorities approach is very worrying. Given the extraordinary circumstances and the risk that Assange runs of being rendered to the US it is not unreasonable that they should base their request to extradite on more that “wanted for questioning”. They could travel to London interview him in the embassy and either decide to charge him or drop the case. What’s wrong with that? What I find amazing is that before this debacle I would have said that Sweden was a good country, now I’m not so sure.

I think Cate nobody really understands (apart maybe from some Swedish prosecutor, but that's not even clear) what he is to be questioned about. May I suggest you look at a link I posted earlier which purports to describe the timeline of events? It looks to me as if he had consensual sex with two women who then retrospectively in the police station decided to withdraw their consent. One because she says the condom broke and the other because she says she was asleep the second (condom less) time. It all seems to hinge on condom or no condom. I think if I was at risk of being dragged to a very hostile US on potentially capital charges I’d want a bit more clarity from the Swedish authorities, especially having spent a month there at the time trying to sort the matter out. Why will the Swedish authorities not travel to the UK to interview him and then either formalise the charges or drop the case and/or why will they not give him assurances that he will not be the subject of a rendition to the US?

Brian regarding receiving stolen data? Is there such a law? All he received was a series of ones and zeros on a CD the value of which is impossible to estimate.

This all doesn’t add up for me and in case of such doubt I have to side with the accused.

I have no loyalties, Brian. I just don't see how the Us can just snap their fingers and have someone like Assange, or Gary McKinnon just magically fall into their hands, when neither have committed a crime on US soil. The internet is not the US, yet they seem to police it.

Yes, gaining access to US documents might be embarrassing for them, but as John says... if they leave their networks wide open, the data WILL be stolen. Footage of marines in a chopper mowing civilians down with bullets, and encouraging each other is sensitive, why was the footage kept... why wasn't it properly encrypted.... why was the footage taken in the first place....

What did the release of the footage change?? not a lot, we now know that really happened, and the person who leaked it is locked up. Apart from that, the world did not turn on it's axis, and no "lives were put in danger"

Unfortunately, wherever our loyalties and preferences rest Zoe, he has received stolen data. That is much the same as stolen goods. So, he is party to the theft. Espionage, hmmm, not really because he did not steal the secrets, they were passed on to him after they were out of the 'hands' of those who hold the secret data. What the USA wants is to set an example, which is an arbitrary, vengant act that they will be reviled for so a rather stupid thing to do because a number of right leaning politicians want it.

chew on this, for the unexpected sex case.

Assange is perhaps ego-centric, but he is no terrorist, and so, the US has no right to try taking him in.

The thing you said that shocks me is nothing to do with Assange, or his particular case, it is more to do with the idea you seem to have that exposing injustice is wrong, because "someone could get hurt"... that is what I was trying to tackle, and as I said in the beginning, i don't wish to comment on Assange himself, but rather the fact that we do need the likes of wikileaks, because, knowledge is power, and let's face it, people who watch mainstream TV, and read tabloids are pretty ignorant to what is really happening.

bradley manning uncovered the fact that innocents were being killed, and that US forces were indiscriminately gunning down women, and children, egging each other on, and laughing about it, patting each other on the back.

does the danger posed to humans not matter, because they are people of another culture to our own? Keep the cloak over the killing of innocents in the mid-east, because some marine in the west might lose their job, and the military would have some egg on it's face?

you mean the Sweedish "unexpected sex" case?