America’s Vassal Acts Decisively and Illegally

by craig on August 16, 2012 11:30 am in Uncategorized



I returned to the UK today to be astonished by private confirmation from within the FCO that the UK government has indeed decided – after immense pressure from the Obama administration – to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and seize Julian Assange.

This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.

The provisions of the Vienna Convention on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty.

Article 22

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter
them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises
of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the
mission or impairment of its dignity.
3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of
transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other’s embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.

The government’s calculation is that, unlike Ecuador, Britain is a strong enough power to deter such intrusions. This is yet another symptom of the “might is right” principle in international relations, in the era of the neo-conservative abandonment of the idea of the rule of international law.

The British Government bases its argument on domestic British legislation. But the domestic legislation of a country cannot counter its obligations in international law, unless it chooses to withdraw from them. If the government does not wish to follow the obligations imposed on it by the Vienna Convention, it has the right to resile from it – which would leave British diplomats with no protection worldwide.

I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration. William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his. I gather the decision to act has been taken in Number 10.

There appears to have been no input of any kind from the Liberal Democrats. That opens a wider question – there appears to be no “liberal” impact now in any question of coalition policy. It is amazing how government salaries and privileges and ministerial limousines are worth far more than any belief to these people. I cannot now conceive how I was a member of that party for over thirty years, deluded into a genuine belief that they had principles.

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  1. Ah but Craig, just as the US government stands above all forms of international law (and morality and decency), so its duly constituted vassals are also empowered to ignore any laws they don’t happen to like.

    And so… Britain will become a pariah state.

  2. “William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his”.

    Any sane PM would realise that this, in itself, means the course that Hague supports is wrong.

  3. UK diplomatic staff abroad must be thrilled to hear about this. After all, if such behaviour is acceptable enough for the British, nobody can complain if weak governments in far more volatile countries do the same.
    Likewise when it comes to torture, detention without trial, even extra-judicial state killings for that matter – we do it, so anyone else can refer to our shining example of how things are supposed to be done.
    It also shows how much pressure the US is obviously putting on us, and makes it absolutely obvious what would happen five minutes after the Swedes got hold of Assange.

  4. Richard Nolan

    16 Aug, 2012 - 12:01 pm

    A truly sad state of affairs and confirmation that there really isn’t any political choice left in this country. Lots of noise on Twitter so hopefully the Ecuadorian Embassy will be inundated with protesters and our man will be able to make his escape, but I think the writing’s on the wall.

  5. Pressure from the Obama administration, huh? Why has no one in the White House press corps questioned him on this issue lately? When is the US president’s next press conference?

  6. Apparently the UK secretary of state can remove the diplomatic status of any embassy if it is considered to be misusing its premises. This came about after the 1984 Libyan shooting.

    If the government considers that protecting Assange from arrest is a misuse of their embassy premises, they can remove inviolability status and argue that they can enter and arrest Assange. That’s how they will justify their actions.

  7. Doug,

    That’s the domestic legislation. But nothing in the Vienna Convention authorises that, and of course any country can follow suit against our Embassies abroad.

  8. The US is above any law, even their own these days. So we must obey their instructions to capture julian so they can execute him for their 1st amendment violation!!! Ridiculous!!

    Embarressing situation, why can’t we and many other countries just say NO! And suffer their consequences, they cannot punish every country without isolating themselves.

  9. I actually view the possibility that the suggested action by the UK is being considered as at the least unwise and at the worst dangerous. As for legality, I leave that to lawyers.

    However, am I the only person to question the contradiction here? Assange is accused of crimes of a sexual nature in a sovereign country. He and his supporters have bleated about his other activities (which are of questionable probity in my opinion) and a different sovereign country appears to have offered him asylum as a result.

    In his header the author claims that he is a Human Rights Activist. The tone of this article suggests that he is a supporter of Assange whose human rights, on any evidence I have seen, do not appear to be under immediate threat. However, his accusers’ rights are, if things go the way that Assange and his flock wish, to be denied.

    On another tack. I would like to see proof that any pressure has been brought by the US administration on the British government. Likewise I would like to see the proof that the Swedish Administration would extradite Assange to the USA. Why hasn’t the UK administration done so?

  10. Call me naive but I can’t believe this is really happening. What is the piece of domestic legislation this would be based on ?

  11. We’re getting a lot of traffic at the moment, so if you want to promote this post (say on Twitter) then it’s been reposted here too:

  12. It would be nice if they actually read their own laws. The Act they’re referring to actually specifically says that it’s only legal if it’s legal under international law.

    There seem to be two reasons in the Act – one is for planning law, for instance if the building is in the way of a new road or railway line and the sending country is being awkward, they can remove diplomatic status, CPO the building and then allow the country to establish a new embassy elsewhere. I could see that being used for Crossrail, for example.

    The other is if the embassy is being used for purposes that are neither part of the mission nor consular. Granting asylum is specifically part of the mission of an embassy, so the law just doesn’t do what they want it to do.

  13. Kevin: There is no chance any of the Whitehouse elite press corps will ask questions as awkward as that. Not if they want to keep their extremely well paid jobs, because then they’d never get “access” ever again.

  14. Being pessimistic, it doesn’t matter that this domestic law doesn’t actually allow them to do this — they’ll do it anyway, and then afterwards the courts will tell them they were wrong, there’ll be some slaps on the wrists and apologies, but Assange will already be hanging.

  15. On the day the media’s focus was about to shine a light on to A. Coulson’s criminal acts whilst Cameron’s press secretary, the opportunity arises to lick spittle to Obama, whilst diverting the eyes of the public on to Julian Assange and Ecuador’s diplomatic plight, how convenient. I fear that the moment Ecuadors ambassador announces that they will grant him asylum, the police will attack their diplomatic inviolable status and arrest him. Who knows he might not go to Sweden at all, knowing Rove, he has the paperwork sewn up, making the extradition one way.
    What news management, anything to stop Cameron being connected to Andy Coulson or any of the other skeletons rattling in his wardrobe.
    Obama must been assured of his presidency after Romney’s last visit to Israel, why else speculate attacking Iran before the election.

    Don’t forget Nov. elections for PPC’s, clearly a post that should not be inhabited by party politicians. If any job scream independence its this one.

  16. Out of interest, after posting this article on Indymedia, the following appeared as a comment within 10 minutes (!), defending the possible decision to invade the embassy. That someone sympathetic to the Establishment position just happened to be on Indymedia (an anarchist/protest site) is very odd indeed. Furthermore, the comment appears now to have been deleted (probably by Indymedia staff – I don’t think ordinary users can delete comments). This is a copy:

    Surprised Craig didn’t know this (16.08.2012 12:11)
    Considering what Craig did in the past I am surprised at some of the things he has said here.
    “This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961″
    No it will not – the Convention allows for exactly these circumstances under section V, sub section 3 where an individual from a country may be arrested in another countries embassy if a serious offence has taken place. The only individuals protected under the Convention are consular officials. There are many precedents for arrests of these kinds:
    March 1953 – French police arrest bank robber who was hiding in Mexican embassy
    August 1974 – Columbian police arrest drug dealer in German embassy
    December 1976 – US police arrest child murderer in Australian embassy
    October 1984 – British police arrest Algerian terrorist in French embassy.
    I have other examples
    Ian Sharp – lawyer

    Any legal eagles here who could take a view on this opinion?

  17. Terry Groves

    16 Aug, 2012 - 1:37 pm

    I would as a British citizen be horrified to see such an action to take place, I don’t believe for one moment that they would implement such a plan, this would destroy all the beliefs of freedom and fair play I hold for this country….

  18. Jon,

    What is even stranger is that the Vienna Convention doesn’t have sections, and there is nothing like the reference given by “Ian Sharp” in the text. My link above gives the full text on the UN site. Pretty strange disinformation technique.

  19. *IF* they storm the Ecuadorian embassy to grab Assange, they’ll accuse Ecuador of “harbouring a terrorist”. Joe Biden and others have already labelled him a “cyber-terrorist”. And with pushing from the USA, the UK will take that line, and to hell with international OR domestic law.
    Sky News cut off the Ecuadorian minister’s press conference and went to ads, on the basis that “he was taking too long to get to the point”. F them.
    Craig’s article was re-tweeted lavishly on Twitter and this site went down. Probably because too many people were seeking to access it at the same time. I doubt if it was anything more sinister.
    Apparently also the UK has told Ecuador that “it might still revoke the diplomatic status of Quito’s embassy in London to allow the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder.”

  20. The liberal impact on Government policy is, of course, the same as Reverend Blair’s impact on American policy, namely that things would have been even worse without it. Whatever may happen to British diplomats, be they hindered, harassed, kidnapped or strung up by the thumbs, no doubt Nick Clegg will be there to remind us that respect is a two-way street, and that much greater evils would have occurred had international law been allowed to prevail in its fiendish course.

  21. Thank you so much, Craig… and also those who have commented… for publishing such a clear and informative account of just why storming the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest and remove Julian Assange would be such a terrible, terrible mistake.

    I am shocked that a democratically elected British government would ever even contemplate, let alone plan and carry out, such an action. It Assange’s arrest and removal goes ahead, it will put at risk the life of every diplomat (along with every embassy staff member…) in every embassy, consulate and mission in the world… as well as massively damaging the long and noble tradition of one nation being able to speak and hear the truth directly –and fearlessly – to and from any other.

  22. AlexT,
    The legislation Billy fourteen pints is relying on is:
    diplomatic and consular premises act 1987
    This is bit of slight of hand, and is akin to getting into a contract (Vienna Convention) and then go back and prevaricate about the fact that you meant only to uphold the contract on every other Mourn day Thursday at half past six precisely, and the rest of the time you will consider the contract non binding.
    David Mills,
    It is not a question of Assange, this now has turned into a manifest dick swinging contest, during which Ecuadorans endowed with minuscule dicks are bing slapped around with the well endowed Billy fourteen pints. I trust you discern that the physical sizes referred to are in fact the caliber of the Howitzers, and the population of bombs and their delivery vehicles at the disposal of each party, and not necessarily their genitalia, nonetheless this is as crude a contest as Billy fourteen pints pulling out his tackle and banging it on the Ecuadoran Ambassadors desk, who is representing the head of the Ecuadoran nation here in UK.
    You let your dislike of Assange get in the way of seeing the trees, woods etc.

    Also remember that Al Capone never got charged for any of his crimes, he was picked up for spitting on the side walk, and tried for tax evasion.

  23. Thanks for this post Craig. You sum it up very well.

    The media reporting of this is infuriating. Discussion about whether the ‘storming’ of the embassy would be legal or not is completely caught up in what British law says, taking little account of the UK’s obligations under international law. So if somewhere down the line some country decides that its domestic law permits it to invade the British embassy on its soil, that will be just fine, will it?

    I only wish Ecuador could get a UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Britain for what will effectively be an act of war, but of course the unjust veto power makes such a thing impossible. Perhaps their only recourse is to let whoever wants to have a crack at the British embassy in Quito in to torch the place.

  24. Nick in Toronto

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:05 pm

    “(A rose) Fascism by any other name would smell as sweet”

  25. On a potential for DDoS attack of this blog’s server, I suspect not; the link from the official Wikileaks Twitter account would be enough to flatten most modest server accounts!

  26. Day by day the mask of democracy our leaders wear slips one more inch to reveal the fascist face beneath, how long until they take the mask completely off, only a matter of time now.

  27. “That’s the domestic legislation. But nothing in the Vienna Convention authorises that, and of course any country can follow suit against our Embassies abroad.”

    Nothing in it denies it either. Unless you explicitly give up a power it remains sovereign to the nation. If the Vienna Convention doesn’t define what is and isn’t a mission and under what conditions a mission can be dissolve then that power lies with the sovereign nation. Nations can expel diplomats. They obviously have this power and the silence of the Vienna Convention on this issue supports the case of the UK government rather than weakens it.

    This is obviously a completely distinct issue as to whether this is a sensible real politik move or an ethical move. It also raises the issue as to whether the Vienna Convention is complete and appropriate. Though I don’t think any nation will agree to surrendering the very power the UK is using.

  28. Gareth

    But the Vienna Convention does very very specifically define the things you say it would need to define. And it does define in which conditions immunity can be violated; none. The meaning of inviolable, in fact the meaning of the whole Convention, is extremely clear. I doubt you have read it; it is linked in the post above.

  29. Gareth, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I think you have to ask yourself whether it would be acceptable for a country to pull the rug out from under a British diplomatic mission’s feet by stripping it of its status, invade it and kidnap someone from inside, and then go round saying “well this building you see isn’t technically diplomatic premises any more, so the Vienna Convention offers no protection”. If this is all fine by you then you might as well just rip the treaty up. Setting the precedent that this kind of thing is acceptably completely defeats the spirit of the Vienna Convention.

  30. The UK government must be on crack, or merely deluded. I shall have to help protect UK citzens & Julian Assange from them. A freedom fighter is born.

  31. Good to see Ecuador isn’t taking the easy option, anyway:

    We seem to be writing the guidelines for the evil regime of [insert bogeyman here] tojustify removing any asylum-seeking dissidents from our embassy in Evilia City…bad move, Billy Nomates. Compounded by the dodgy validity of approving an extradition warrant for questioning (not prosecution) for an offence likely to pull a term of less than 12 months.

  32. @Jon said,
    “No it will not – the Convention allows for exactly these circumstances under section V, sub section 3 where an individual from a country may be arrested in another countries embassy if a serious offence has taken place.”

    …er there’s been an offence, of sorts, well after the supposed events, after the two ladies involved were pressured by who knows who but we can guess.

    However, Assange has not been charged with anything OR tried with a crime in his absence, both of which occurrences could and have happened in the past.

    So are we to read this that anyone can be dragged out of an embassy “for questioning”? Because that’s where it is right now.

    This really is an abomination and the so-called defenders of freedom and justice following WW2, are now to be called the international extra-judiciary torture & execution squad of the USA and UK.

    We who live there should be ashamed and shout NO! NO! NO!

  33. David Mills,
    Your comment is of course empirical but undeniably serious concerns regarding the lack of safeguards and transparency with which actions are being taken against Julian Assange, and the harassment he is being subjected to which has irreparable effects on his physical and mental wellbeing. The threats against his person are further aggravated by the complicit behaviour of the Swedish and U.K. governments, who are wrongfully abrogating his rights.

  34. @Strangely: for clarification, the words you’ve quoted weren’t mine – I reposted them from elsewhere, as I thought they were suspicious.
    There’s been a report of a crime certainly, but from a legal/technical perspective, I should think there is no offence as such, since Assange has not formally been charged with anything. (That cannot be stated often enough, since the media keep reverting to the phrase “charges in Sweden”, which is incorrect – Sweden just wishes to have a meeting with him).

  35. Airdrieonian

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:27 pm

    Maybe Wee Willy Wankey will get Jack Bauer to do it?

  36. ‘I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration.’

    ‘more’ ? You have yet to provide us with any. If you are going to engage in conspiracy theories – that could indeed be credible – then provide some evidence.

    You do yourself, and your venerable past a disservice by this type of witless thinking. Same applies to the ruminations that lead the article about a DOS attack.

  37. numberstation

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    Hi Craig,

    I reposted your comment (attributed of course) on the Metafilter thread running on this issue.


  38. Great piece, it is inexplicable that those Democrats in power have zero to say on this. It is just as disheartening that my former party’s enablers have very little to say on this subject as well, and many of the ones I talk to agree with the strongarm tactics to get Assange.

    I wouldn’t count on the press asking the Obama administration about “pressuring the UK”, I think they are more concerned with Joe Biden gaffes, today.

  39. Welcome back Craig. I’ve just lost a comment. When I tried to post it came up with the message:
    Error establishing a database connection
    I then tried to refresh the screen and the message came up:
    No data received
    So I guess it’s lost.

  40. Welcome back Craig. As you can see there has been no improvement here while you were away. What it proves all along is that the trumped-up charges against Assange by a Swedish prosecutor were a guise to get Assange extradited to the US where, as he suspects, he would face a long time in harsh conditions, just for revealing the truth. The US is looked upon now like some of the countries it used to criticise, those that have no real laws to protect their citizens, just prisons and gulags to keep dissidents out of the way.
    I fear for the future.

  41. Thank you. What is to stop Ecuador making Mr Assange an Ecuadorian diplomat? Even Britain would not touch him then!

  42. Well I’ve done a bit of checking and am agreement with Craig on the “Ian Sharp – lawyer” disinformation. Very sharp practice!
    I can find no reference to Sharps reference in either the Vienna convention here:
    …or the dubious bit of Uk legislation from 1987 in either its revised or originally enacted forms here:

    Definite bit of skullduggery going on.

  43. Why did this same government let Yvonne Fletcher’s killers travel from their embassy to the airport, while it will not do the same for Assange who has not been proved to have committed any crime at all, let alone murder?

  44. David Mills has clearly not familiarised himself with the Assange affaire other than through the filters of the UK MSM.

    Assange has not been charged with any offense in any jurisdiction. He has consistently offered to submit himself to questioning by the Swedish police and that offer remains open. He even remained in Sweden for two weeks following the original complaints against him for that purpose. But the original Swedish presecutor considered the complaints too trivial to warrant further action and he left.

    So what caused the Swedish about face and the drastic step of issuing a European Arrest Warrant against someone with no charges pending?

    Here’s a clue – Towards the end of Assange’s two week wait in Sweden, Carl Rove arrived in Stockholm, ostensibly in his role as a paid advisor to the Swedish PM. There are plenty more if you care to look. Put all that together with what we know of the US Grand Jury on Wikileaks and it becomes crystal clear that the official UK narrative is pure Machiavellian deception.

    Can’t say I’m surprised though, since ‘Machiavellian deception’ is a constant in matters of sensitive foreign policy. I confess I AM surprised at Craig’s allegation though. There was I thinking I was beyond surprise at the depths to which the UK FCO its government and SIS’s will plumb in the service of their US masters.

  45. doug scorgie

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:39 pm

    I note that Cameron and Clegg are on holiday at the moment leaving the Foreign Secretary, William Haig, in charge and he is the one to make the decision on removal of invoiability of the embassy.

  46. @Dave: What’s to stop them? International power politics. Ecuador is a relative minnow on the world stage, and it lacks powerful friends (the USA). It won’t have any luck at the UN getting condemnation for Britain because of the way the Security Council is rigged. Any move it makes to protect Assange risks serious consequences. Britain meanwhile can swagger around like a bully who knows his big brother will sort out anyone who tries to mess with him.

  47. Having posted a link to this blog post I have just got a message from Norway that it cannot be accessed there.

  48. Could you provide more evidence that the US government is behind this?
    I think nobody would be surprised if that was the case because of their track record in the past.

    But I believe it would shed a totally different light on the legality and morality of invading the territory of the embassy.

    After all, thus far all they have is the testimony of a woman and no way of proving any solid proof for anything. I doubt that the unverified and unverifyable testimony of one single witness is sufficient to claim a “serious offense” justifying invading an embassy.

    Otherwise China would only have to “find” a witness claiming that Chen Guangchen has raped her – and invade the US embassy. Does anyone really believe that the western world would grant China the same room for justification? I doubt that.

  49. Re DDOS: it’s rather inexplicable that all those hits haven’t thrown up a lot of comments, if the hits were genuine. And I’ve never lost the server for minutes on end before. Looks like an anomaly to me, and DDOS is very definitely a possible cause.
    Re. US involvement: this question is rather crucial to the affair. It’s likely, it’s “common knowledge” on the interweb (ie universally cut and pasted) but it’s rather like Israeli nukes; no-one’s admitting to it. Reluctantly agree with your critic here, Craig. If you have something hard, the world needs to know.

  50. technicolour

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    The Ecuadorian government will announce its decision on Assange’s future at 10pm today (AEST).

    A government official in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, said that the British government had made it clear it would not allow Assange to leave the country to travel to Ecuador, so even with a grant of asylum or similar protection, he would probably remain stuck in the embassy.

    Despite a growing police presence at the building that houses the embassy, and social media speculation, police have not entered the embassy. However, the Metropolitan Police may be preparing to deal with angry supporters if Assange emerges and is arrested.

    Read more:

  51. Bravo Craig, thank you. And Viva Ecuador!

    No doubt you’ll be flooded with misinformation and thread hijacking by US State Dept employees, who are simply “going along to get along.”

    Ecuador has made a difficult but principled decision. I am gobsmacked by their courage, and dismayed by the British Govt’s cowardice and lack of spine.

  52. I think it should now be clear to all, the USA is in charge at Number 10, it has been for many decades.

  53. @Grassy Noel: Libya under Gaddafi had shown its willingness to commit acts of international terrorism. The risks of pissing them off were judged to be too great. Ecuador is a peaceful nation that can safely be trodden on.
    There is a clear analogy with the incentives created by the invasion of Iraq here. Don’t want to get invaded by the likes of the USA and UK? Don’t get caught napping like relatively unarmed Iraq! Get yourself some real weapons of mass destruction so the imperial powers won’t risk attacking you.
    If a bully is allowed to stroll around the playground beating up the weak kids, everyone will come to school carrying a knife.

  54. Esfandiah

    ‘I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration.’
    ‘more’ ? You have yet to provide us with any. If you are going to engage in conspiracy theories – that could indeed be credible – then provide some evidence.
    It’s you who’s being witless Esfandiah.Read again what Craig wrote.”More information” is simply that:relating to the threats mentioned without necessarily defining them one can still employ the term “more” in a general sense.You’re simply selectively mis-interpreting the semantics to suit your own skewed interpretation.

  55. Dear Sir,
    The British government has chosen a psychotic cowboy government as its friend. Keep in mind, it was the British colonists in America kicking Britain out of Northern America.
    A dangerous way Britain is going in order to fulfill the lawbreaking wishes of the psycho government to the West beyond Ireland.
    Britain must not let itself get blackmailed into breaking valid international treaties and laws.
    Even if the U.S. threaten to publish nasty information about the British government if they don’t bow to their wishes, Britain must stand strong and tall. Everything is better than to become the vassal of a rogue state and get isolated from the other European countries. Old Europe, and Britain is part of it, does not need America.
    And now it is about time the Swedish authorities clear up their act and review their “reasons” for an extradition. Therer is not much proof of anything left on their side.

  56. ‘Why did this same government let Yvonne Fletcher’s killers travel from their embassy to the airport, while it will not do the same for Assange who has not been proved to have committed any crime at all, let alone murder?’

    GrassyNoel- the legislation which allows Willie Hague to rattle his sabre at the Ecuadoreans (I hope in vain)was passed in 1987 in the wake of the Yvonne Fletcher shooting- a classic example of knee jerk law making. In 1984 when wpc Fletcher was fatally shot the Government had no handy domestic legislation available to justify the storming of the Libyan diplomatic compound & the arrest of her killers.

  57. Marcel Oerlemans

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    100,000 HITS IN 100 MINUTES, that is not a ddos, that’s great succes :)
    If you need help with hosting, send me a mail.

  58. @John Goss – the server is under heavy load, having been directly linked from Wikileaks’ Twitter, and from Russia Today. Just post again, should be all good.
    New visitors – if you make a comment but it doesn’t appear, it is probably caught in the spam filter, rather than foul play. I’ll check often today, to ensure things are published reasonably speedily.

  59. Brendan O'Malley

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:53 pm

  60. Technicolour – the announcement that Assange is granted asylum has already been made (the timezone you quote is Australian).
    Re Hague:
    I’d say he’s between a rock and a hard place…licking Yank ass on the one hand and desperately trying to drum up business in S. America.
    Still, he’ll do the stupid thing, as neither Cameron or Osborne will be with us much longer. And he’ll see it as an opportunity.

  61. The huge surge in traffic is most likely down to being linked on

  62. technicolour

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:57 pm

    Thanks for post; have distributed. Also this in the Independent, published for some reason in the ‘crime’ section:

  63. Dienye Hez. Diri

    16 Aug, 2012 - 2:57 pm

    It is ridiculous that even Britain will allow the United States to ‘use her head’. I used to hold this country in high esteem until now. I used to think Britain have people in politics who can think independently. But now I know – they’re just robots waiting to receive the next command to act on. The United States is only a bunch of stupid politicians manipulating world affairs in order to reach their selfish goals without recourse to the law. They preach democracy everywhere they go, yet they are a dictatorship! Wolves in sheep clothing! That’s what they are. I’ve lost every single respect and love I have for Great Britain for even coming out to make this threat.

  64. People have commented on what precedent this would set for British embassies abroad, but also, where would foreign embassies based in London feel they stood? Will we see embassies being closed in protest? No idea how closely other South American countries may or may not choose to stand with Ecuador on this.

    Out of curiousity, laugh at my naive observation if you will, but my understanding is that any kind of container may be labelled as a diplomatic bag. Surely the ambassador would be able to accompany a large and heavy bag carried by two or three staff out of the embassy and through the airport?

  65. It would not be an unusual pattern for a DOS attack to fire one short attack and then disappear completely. They would probably persist to be seen as exerting themselves.

    Whereas 100,000 genuine hits could easily be generated by a few tweets from accounts as followed as wikileaks. So I suggest you were probably subjected to a large spike of normal traffic. Be happy about it! Your web host should be able to tell from a quick analysis of the web logs.

  66. Diplomatic bag? Or sports bag? Difficult choice…

  67. Sorry my above post should have started:

    It would be an unusual pattern for a DOS attack to fire one short attack and then disappear completely.

  68. Keef, thanks. The story is doing well on Slashdot also, though no direct links from there to here as far as I can see. That’d slow things down a bit too ;)

  69. Thanks Jon. It came through after my next comment questioning where it had gone. I’m glad it is under such a heavy load. This is of the utmost importance. The very fabric of everything I hold dear about my country is under threat.

  70. technicolour

    16 Aug, 2012 - 3:08 pm

    Strangely: thanks for finding legislation, if that’s the 1987 act being referred to, it also contains this;

    “ARTICLE 45

    If diplomatic relations are broken off between two States, or if a mission is permanently or temporarily recalled:

    (a)the receiving State must, even in case of armed conflict, respect and protect the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives;

    Is ‘storming it’ ‘respecting and protecting’?

  71. Mark El-Kadhi

    16 Aug, 2012 - 3:09 pm

    ‘Somebody’ Mills above asked “what about the rights of the accusers? The women claiming rape”. Agreed, but look more losely please before reiterating establishment lines of argument.

    If there was any possibility that this was not politically motivated to get JA into US custody, in a hell-hole lile Bradley Manning and likely heading for a death sentence, investigators could have agreed to come to the uk, but they refused.

    Moreover, have a look at the site :
    “Not one suspect was NOT granted bail for rape in Sweden; even those with previous convictions for attempted murder of their partners are givwn bail; there is a long history of using rape allegations dor political purposes as is clearly happening in the Asaange case.” (paraphrasing as honestly as possible, cant figure cut and paste on new phone!)

    Anyone who believes the UK govt’s commitment to justice is what is driving this, rather than it being a poodle part of the US empire following orders to round up and makw an example of an embarrassing whistleblower, will most likely also appear in the same category as those believing in the story of “humanitarian intervention” in Iraq, Libya and now Syria: all actions to extend US/uk/nato domination of resources and strategic positions

    Cant blame you personally for swallowing the establishment line that permeates the media, but perhaps time to explore other possibilities?

    Try dipping into debates on message board, say

  72. Jennie DeKlerk

    16 Aug, 2012 - 3:14 pm

  73. Esfandiah,
    Which planet from are you getting in touch with Earth?
    US the whining fucking empire that has been committing every sin under the Sun, is now the paragon of virtue that needs to be defended? Now that is really fucking funny, on Earth, but I suppose on your planet it should be a conspiracy.
    So far Standard Charter has been pushed onto the coals, and that was the opening aperitif, lets see what is for the next course?

  74. We’re seeing the continuing breakdown of international law that began with Iraq. This will lead to the collapse of everything that liberal Weaterners hold dear.

  75. technicolour

    16 Aug, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    Geoff: Article 27: “3. The diplomatic bag shall not be opened or detained.”

    It can refer to crates. Apparently there was an attempt made to kidnap a Nigerian minister in this way, but the crate was not labelled properly and the attempt was foiled.

    But that slightly detracts from the main point – how and why did we get here?

  76. Time to flood the streets with supporters and whisk Julian to safety, People power could win this yet.
    As you say Craig, the Libdems have shown themselves to be self serving scum.
    No limit to the affrontery they are prepared to accept.
    The only covenant they stick to is the one they made to keep cameron in power until 2015.

  77. In the long term, this could destroy Hague utterly. For which God be praised. The FO responds to Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum:
    US authorities were specifically asked if they had any intention to seek Mr Assange’s extradition so they could start legal proceedings against him and what maximum penalty he could face.

    “The response from the United States has been that it cannot offer any guarantees.
    I was a sceptic, but now I believe.

  78. Thanks for this post, Craig. I wrote a blog post along the same lines:

    As you say, domestic law cannot trump international law in a nation party to a binding treaty. Any raid on the embassy would be a travesty.

    The single defining feature of the Assange case is the misinformation and ignorance surrounding it. Any Assange article attracts more comments than most in the mainstream media, but a large number of those comments betray ignorance of the facts and blind acceptance of some lazy crap they read elsewhere in the MSM. If people actually knew all the facts, the swing towards supporting Assange would be enormous.

    Thanks again.

  79. Welcome back Craig. We have missed you greatly.
    This on the rendition and torture that the CIA organized in Poland. Well done to Roy Gutman and the Miami Herald.
    Mini-Guantanamos : Poland peels back layers on CIA detention center
    The Miami Herald
    McClatchy Newspapers
    ‘Where the law ends, Tyranny begins’ John Locke – 1632-1704

  80. Just one further point that eludes me – why would JA be more in danger of extradition to the US in Sweden than in the UK ? Is there anything specific to the legal system there that would make his extradition more likely ? I can’t fathom the the Swedes are even more corrupt than the Brits !

  81. So Pathetic GB. You will not be forgotten.

  82. Have reposted the message here as well



  83. Sebastian Borner

    16 Aug, 2012 - 3:42 pm

    Thank you Craig,
    A question: Why was your website offline this morning / early afternoon?
    I saw something sinister in it, maybe I am just a little paranoid?
    I’d be glad for a brief response.
    I sincerely hope this will be resolved soon and in a good way. Sad that we have to rely on Ecuador to defend our democratic principles.

    Louise Mensch on twitter: Expel Ecuadorean Ambassador, break off relations, enter former embassy, arrest fugitive, extradite.

    That’s a sad statement.

    Kind regards,

  84. And there we all were hoping we wouldn’t need to hear any more nonsense from Louise Mensch.

  85. Alext – Sweden has granted extradition in the TOTAL OF CASES in which the prisoner was in Swedish territory. They have yet to refuse a single case, save where the requestee was not in Swedish territory.
    Also, I believe Sweden can make the decision to extradite at a political level, less hampered by the courts than is the case in the UK

  86. @Sebastian Borner: a DDoS attack is tempting to believe, given that Craig’s access to information. But I think it was just the huge amount of interest – we’ve had incoming links from several very high profile sites (see above) and this just overwhelmed the web server. Once the host rebooted it with more RAM/CPU resources, it was fine.
    A competent DDoS would overwhelm the new configuration, which is why I am not of the view that it is malicious.
    Craig – hopefully you can do a piece on this for the MSM. The Guardian put up a good one at 2pm today:

  87. In this video Julian Assange interviews President Rafael Correa. It is a must watch if you have not seen it.
    When asked about kicking out the US from a base in Ecuador Correa tells Assange it is all right for the US to have a base in Ecuador if the Ecuadorians can have a base in Miami. Correa also says there is more difference in my thoughts in the morning and afternoon than there is between Democrats and Republicans in the United States government.

  88. technicolour

    16 Aug, 2012 - 3:50 pm

    Alext; both Sweden & UK US allies – less fuss from UK people (where despite the media there is large sympathy for Assange on the ground and high profile supporters) than if Assange is extradited from Sweden: also this from ‘Justice for Assange’ site:

    “Sweden has in the recent past violated international treaties in relation to surrendering foreign nationals into US custody to be interrogated and tortured (case of extraordinary rendition, Agiza v. Sweden at the European Court of Human Rights). Furthermore, Amnesty International and the UN Committee against Torture criticised Sweden because it rendered two refugees to the CIA who were then tortured under the Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak. (A documentary with the testimony of tortured refugees who had been granted asylum and then rendered to the CIA by Sweden was aired on Swedish television on 5 October 2011.”

  89. AlexT,
    Think about it, there is more than one way of skinning a cat.
    Assange is taken to Sweden and put to trial, and presto the trial continues based on the Swedish laws that makes thinking about doing something that a woman may not like a rape, it is an easy charge to shove him into a jail and throw the key away.
    Then it is time for Assange to get worked on by the friendly tortures who would be priming him to jump; one or the other way, and presto either he is back doing what he is suppose to be doing, or hie is somehow shanked to death in a Swedish Jail, or best yet, he is extradited to US ie Gitmo for more treatment of the same.
    The options are many and the wishful thinking as yet the order of the day, there has been no decision as to deal with his with extreme prejudice ie bump him off, as in the case of many other poor bastards whom have been bumped off, included the most public bumping off of a Mr. Prezident!
    But don’t forget this is not about Assange alone, it is about rule of law, and respect for contractual obligations. ie Vienna Conventions.

  90. Who like me is ashamed to be British?

  91. @Jon, thank you, that makes good sense and is also reassuring.

  92. I am not ashamed to be British. I am incensed and enraged at being associated in any way with the British Government, though.

  93. I am sure Ecuador is considering reciprocal steps (entering the British embassy), and I will not be surprised if another country – Venezuela? – would come to its support and also issue some sort of warning to the local British embassy.

    As to your last paragraph, it just confirms my belief that the best thing in life is not to get trapped in membership in any organised ideology (political party, religion, etc.).

  94. There is no doubt in my mind Assange will somehow end up in the US where he will be tortured for years on end.
    It’s truly disgusting but,tragically,not surprising.

  95. I wonder what this person thinks of his country. Is he embarrassed? Probably not.
    On his appointment as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Ecuador, Mr Mullee said:
    “It is an honour to be appointed Ambassador to Ecuador. The Secretary of State has emphasised the importance of strengthening Britain’s ties with Latin America. I look forward to returning to Quito and leading the Embassy’s work at such an important time in our relations with Ecuador and Latin America. I believe there is scope to deepen our engagement with Ecuador, particularly to promote the UK’s prosperity through more trade and economic ties.” LOL

  96. One does not need to be a paranoid conspiracy theorist to imagine the United States bumping Julian Assange off somehow. The Obama administration has quite openly carried out targeted assassinations of US citizens, in part as a PR exercise to make Obama come across as a warrior president. Senior congressmen have openly called for Assange’s extrajudicial execution. Assange is an Australian whose country has washed its hands of him. He is absolutely justified in fearing what might happen to him if he finds himself in the custody of a US ally. He doesn’t want to end up like the forgotten Pembrokeshire lad Bradley Manning.

  97. I am assuming the Ecudorian Embassy has a security unit, whom are armed…are we about to see the SAS storming through the front door ???
    Nope…I would think the FO is quietly threatining the Ecuador Govt behind the scenes with trade sanctions and the like to kick him out of the Embassy…

  98. I think the outage is also due to success and no ddos: you’ve been feaured on (also known to bring down non-static sites in an instant).

  99. Hi Craig, Have given full reference to you in chapter 494 of the TVOTW ‘Main Chapter Index’. Please get everyone to go to #unspeakableevil@TheGlobalFund – view – and spread the word worldwide. Keypoint – Osama Bin Laden had nothing whatsoever to do with 911. The world needs to speak with ONE VOICE on these matters. TVOTW and The Global Fund For Peace, Justice And Development are the ONLY way any of us will get justice for Julian and Wikileaks, and ALL of those people affected by 911, Afghanistan & Iraq. Cheers. Clayton.

  100. sick of the UK

    16 Aug, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    F the UK

  101. NO, not a “vasal”.
    Nothing comes free in politics.
    British bank Standard & Chartered got out of deep sh*t in the US with only a relatively small fine – so Britain has to turn Assange in. Deal is deal, as simple as that.

  102. doug scorgie

    16 Aug, 2012 - 4:16 pm

    Dienye Hez. Diri
    16 Aug, 2012 – 2:57 pm

    “I used to think Britain have people in politics who can think independently.”

    We do but they are not allowed to speak independently. All the parties have a whip system which means if an MP defies the whip he/she can be expelled from that party. If you want to advance yourself in politics you have to do as you are told.

    For example an MP will not be selected for a position on any Select Committee if he/she has defied the whip. Two people come to mind recently: George Galloway and Ken Livingstone.

  103. In South Africa, armed police are shooting striking miners at the Marikana platinum mine. Seven have been killed so far. The strikers just have sticks and machetes. The breakdown of law and tyranny is worldwide. Who sets the example? Amerika.

  104. “Assange is taken to Sweden and put to trial”
    It is also used as a “pick-up” point.

  105. Unfortunately money talks and some US official will at some stage give a high ranking Equadorian diplomat a briefcase full of $100 bills. Suddenly Mr assange will be extradited to sweden and then to the States where he will be tortured.
    THis is how it works, unfortunately. But kudos to you Mr. Assange for exposing the USA’s terrorist and under-handed activities to the rest of the world. There is nothing they can do about it now!!! You are a REAL hero!!!

  106. Another ex-ambassador speaks –
    Now, who said this, I wonder?
    In August 2010, ……. He said that “We cannot have a foreign policy without a conscience. Foreign policy is domestic policy written large. The values we live by at home do not stop at our shores. Human rights are not the only issue that informs the making of foreign policy, but they are indivisible from it, not least because the consequences of foreign policy failure are human”
    Clues? You want clues? Ok.
    PPE Oxford…

  107. Fourteen Pints Wilhelmina will of course support the action.
    If he didn’t he knows he’ll probably go the same way as Robin Cook.
    Assume that if the Yanks have the “goods” on Cameron and his Chipping Norton set then they’ll also have them on room-sharing Billy.

  108. Gerard Batten a UKIP MEP and Vaughan Smith of the Frontline Club have been on the BBC News channel defending Assange, praising Ecuador and condemning the UK government.

  109. If they chose to enter the Embassy to seize Julian Assange, maybe they could also start enforcing all these outstanding fines for traffic violations, e.g. the US Embassy alone owes £2m to the Greater London Authorities for CC and parking fines

  110. I wonder if there will be questions about this U.S. pressure at the next White House and State Department press briefings.

  111. I’d not be surprised if Vaughan Smith was a long time spook asset ordered to get close to Assange thereby to get the lowdown. His past is certainly of that stripe.

  112. Possible solution?
    (please pass to the Ecuadorean embassy if helpful)
    Grant Assange citizenship of Ecuador and then assign him as an Ecuadorean diplomatic staff member to London.

  113. Picture this: the day after the UK Government enters the Ecuadorian Embassy, the Argentinians do the same in Buenos Aires in pursuit of their Falklands obsession.

  114. We have Thatcher and Howe to thank for the change in the law on diplomatic premises of course.
    The inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises

  115. Roderick Stirling

    16 Aug, 2012 - 4:48 pm

    @ David Mills

    And when would you like said proof- post facto?

    The United States has publically lied on this matter stating that they are not seeking Assange.

    It is common cause in the media today that Britian is bowing to immense pressure from the Obama administration in even contemplating this travesty. (Not sure I am buying the bowing part- it suits thier natures down to the ground from where I sit- these are the same people who were selling Gaddafi arms to kill his own people weeks before ‘humanitarian bombing him’).

    Furthermore no charges have been laid against Julian Assange- so how can we even be talking about extradition- he is not sought in terms of a criminal charge, but rather questioning- which he has made himself available for (while still in Sweden before the charges were dropped and then miraculously reinstated promptly on his leaving the counrty), and is willing to do on neutral ground still.

    Futhermore Sweden has most per capita applications to the European Human Rights Court under section article 6.1 (right to a fair trial) of any country in the EU, and the highest rate of upheld applications under article 6.1.

    If this country were in Africa or South America it would be called a Banana Republic.

    You might be willing to uncritically accept the word of a collection of patent liars, some of us are not.

    Wake up

  116. Me Mary, I’m ashamed to be British, when we behave in a shameful way.
    This is a video of what is currently happening outside the Ecuadorian Embassy from Occupynewsnet.
    There are a lot of police hovering around. In fact the interviewer is interviewing a junior bobby now about sexism and racism within the police force.

  117. @StillAngry: That would not help much – diplomatic protection extends only to ACCREDITED diplomatic staff – no one imagines UK Govt granting diplomatic accreditation in UK to Assange.

  118. @kashmiri – that’s the question though, isn’t it? My understanding is that anyone in diplomatic premises and in diplomatic cars is also afforded the same protection under the Convention. The grey zone is whether he is protected when getting in and out of the car, at the embassy and at the airport. On this latter question, is he protected if he carries a diplomatic pouch?
    How much would the UK respect this if the legal advice is “yes” (based on events today, I’d say chances are slim).

  119. @Jives said “I’d not be surprised if Vaughan Smith was a long time spook asset”.

    That made me smile. You don’t know much about Vaughan Smith my friend. Sure, he’s posh, ex army and ex jorno – but he is not their man. Well, probably not. But I have eaten a hat before. No really, he’s not.

  120. However, let us also keep an eye on the proceedings on criminal conduct of a former pooh bah: Andrew Coulson in covering up the police corruption, establishment corruption, and any investigations into the said corrupt conducts, by hacking into dead girls phone.
    He has made his first of his appearances in the courts.

  121. Do Australians come under the jurisprudence of HMG in any of her dominions? If yes, then he is screwed due to dual nationality complications arising, never mind accreditation lark. ie the first nationality trumps in the first country, and second nationality is not recognized.

  122. @kashmiri
    Thanks for that. I feared that may have been a possibility :(

  123. Reading the Vienna convention I notice Article 27 states

    5. The diplomatic courier, who shall be provided with an official document indicating his status
    and the number of packages constituting the diplomatic bag, shall be protected by the receiving State in
    the performance of his functions. He shall enjoy person inviolability and shall not be liable to any form
    of arrest or detention.

    6. The sending State or the mission may designate diplomatic couriers ad hoc. In such cases the
    provisions of paragraph 5 of this article shall also apply, except that the immunities therein mentioned
    shall cease to apply when such a courier has delivered to the consignee the diplomatic bag in his charge.

    So what is to stop Ecuador designating Assange as a diplomatic courier to get him safely out the country?

  124. @Jon: As far as I know, diplomatic protection is extended to premises as well as to diplomatic staff. Premises are protected on the basis on a suitable agreement between the two governments which itself is based directly on the Vienna Convention (not on any local laws). However, a person avails of diplomatic protection only when he/she is officially accredited by the host government; or, for short-term visits (foreign officials, couriers, etc.), he/she is notified to, and receives green light from, the host government. In short, whenever a foreign citizen enters a country, diplomatic stuatus has to be explicitly requested, and the host government has a full right to deny it (e.g., in case of persona non grata).
    Contrary to common perception, being a diplomat usually places more restrictions on your international travel than if you are an ordinary citizen – exactly because of the need of notifying any international travel.

  125. Reposted this from my blog. I hope it helps. If there is anything wou would like me to add or edit, please let me know. Thanks.


  126. Seems like Louise Mensch is joining Sarah Palin – a joke, a quitter, a wannabe, a non-entity whose main asset is that middle aged right-wingers like to drool over them. They run away from the responsibilities they were elected for, and like to bolster a diminishing profile by sending out tough-sounding (but incredibly poorly considered) tweets, demanding that Someone Else do something belligerent, damaging and often (as in this case) illegal.

  127. Derek,
    That bit of the Vienna conventions has been once too often violated, starting with US looking for narcotics, and in the process extended to diplomats carrying explosives, and finally ending up in the Doha fiasco of the Russian consular staff getting into fisticuffs because the airport customs staff were intent on opening their diplomatic baggage.
    Steal Russian Secrets the Easy Way: Beat Up the Ambassador?
    Injured Russian diplomat leaves Qatar

  128. it would be wholly wrong to claim that the british neocons need any encouragement to act against international law.
    they simply dont.

  129. The Vienna Convention has effect in English law because of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964. Against this is the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987.

    There is a considered legal opinion on the legal machinations of the Assange/Ecuadorean Embassy issue at the Law & Lawyers Blog.

  130. lets not forget that this very government changed the law so that alleged israeli war criminals could wander the streets of londen unhindered …
    and wasnt it straw who let pinochet run …

  131. “I am not ashamed to be British. I am incensed and enraged at being associated in any way with the British Government, though.”
    how times have changed ecuador teaching the uk about human rights and freespeech .. asylum and whistle-blowers
    the uk under the neocon cabals of all 3 main parties have surely joined the darkside ..

  132. But Craig, let’s just say for a second that an actual rapist, murderer or other guilty criminal decides that an excellent way to avoid capture is to pop into the nearest embassy of a questionable Central American state and seek political asylum. The Geneva Convention and the principle of inviolability is designed to protect diplomats not rapists. It is only right that Mr Assange should return or be returned to Sweden for questioning, unless it can be proven that the charges are politically motivated – and the existence of 2 alleged victims with good character and plausible stories suggests that the accusations are worthy of investigation. It is Mr Assange’s exploitation of the asylum process that endangers our overseas staff, not the response of the government which, rightly, needs to balance the rights of two alleged victims of rape with the rights of a man who has poked a gorilla with a stick and is complaining that it now wants to kill him.

  133. The FCO is tweeting about the “charges” against Assange. What an absolute disgrace.
    “#Assange faces serious charges in country with the highest standards of law & where his rights are guaranteed.”

  134. The only two realistic options I now see for Assange are:
    1. Remain in the Embassy building until the government changes (just a few years to go) – but be mindful Ecuadorial governments change, too. OR,
    2. Get an Ecuador passport (or two copies, just in case), and get driven in an Embassy car – ideally, together with the Ecuadorial ambassador – by Eurotunnel to France and then Switzerland (non-EU but in Schengen). In no point you need to get out of the car when taking a Eurotunnel train – checked personally.
    Hope this helps :D

  135. @Kashmiri

    Unless the Eurostar has an unspecified ‘breakdown’ mid-tunnel…

  136. Thanks Craig. I have reposted.

  137. Hi Craig, re so many hits and your request to repost — Michael Moore is quoting you (among others) on his front page and links to not here but (love the pic! — in case front page changes)

    I imagine he gets a lot of traffic and maybe originally linked here?

  138. “I cannot now conceive how I was a member of that party for over thirty years, deluded into a genuine belief that they had principles.”
    This might seem a parochial point to make, but bear with me. You are now (like me) a member of the SNP. It looks as if the polluted neo-con tides are lapping around our toes there too.
    Item: Absolutely no chance of an inquiry into the conviction of the late (and obviously framed) Abdelbaset al Megrahi. The stuff about ‘compassionate release’ was as much shite as it looked – he was shunted off home to kill his appeal and prevent embarrassment.
    Item: Long-standing opposition to NATO membership is being dropped.
    It isn’t parochial because happening everywhere. As a few above have noted, legality/morality doesn’t matter – they’ll do whatever they want. Washington commands, and we obey. Which (quite inappropriately) reminds me of a nice song:

  139. Paul Cochrane

    16 Aug, 2012 - 8:04 pm

    Empty vassals make the most noise?

  140. Who will oppose the almost permanent surveillance, shutting off roads etc.
    @ Kashmiri Had the same idea, i.e making him a honourable bonafide Ecuadorian and after some time grant him diplomatic courier status. Am I right in saying that this can be done for very specific tasks on a time limited basis?
    The getaway will be complicated and we should hold our best ideas back. The tunnel is a good idea, except when an accident happens, or is planned to happen. Then the police is allowed to interfere with diplomatic status in an emergency, so the road version is not so good unless you are in a more secure diplomatic ‘convoy’.
    There is nothing to stop the Argentinian, Bolivian Honduran and Venezuelan ambassador visiting their Ecuadorian colleague for a meeting, they could travel in convoy to Switzerland and check their bank accounts, :) could they not? who knows, could they arrive by helicopter? if there is diplomatic access to the roof.

  141. “But Craig, let’s just say for a second that an actual rapist, murderer or other guilty criminal decides that an excellent way to avoid capture is to pop into the nearest embassy of a questionable Central American state and seek political asylum. The Geneva Convention and the principle of inviolability is designed to protect diplomats not rapists. It is only right that Mr Assange should return or be returned to Sweden for questioning … “
    Are you suggesting that an embassy might willingly shield any random murderer or rapist who walked off the street trying to hide from the cops? The Vienna Convention doesn’t compel them to shield every criminal who turns up looking for a bed. They can exercise their own discretion, of course.
    In any case, such a ludicrously unlikely scenario would in no way grant the host government the right to ignore an inviolable international convention when no actual murderer or rapist is involved, but only a dissident who has been stitched up by a compliant state. (Remember Assange’s alleged actions in Sweden don’t count as rape in UK law.)
    There is plenty of evidence of political motivation. The Swedes have refused all compromises, for example to interview him in the UK or by remote link. It’s only an investigation not a charge. It would normally not be considered worthy of a plane ticket, never mind the risk of provoking an international diplomatic crisis.

  142. “There is plenty of evidence of political motivation. The Swedes have refused all compromises, for example to interview him in the UK or by remote link. It’s only an investigation not a charge. It would normally not be considered worthy of a plane ticket, never mind the risk of provoking an international diplomatic crisis.” Nextus.
    I agree.
    And, as Geoffrey Robertson, QC, said on BBC Radio 4 at teatime, Sweden has a very bad reputation for ‘rendering’ people to the CIA – he used the acronym, “CIA”, twice, just so there was no doubt. And then, an Ecuadorean came on and said that most of the media in her country is owned by six families. Well, that sounds just like Britain!
    What may happen is this: Sweden will undertake not to allow Assange to be extradited to the USA if he comes back and faces the ‘questioning’ there. Then, once that is over, ‘new’ evidence will come to light which will allow Sweden to extradite him to the USA.
    The Pinochet point is a very powerful one.
    Shameful, disgraceful, sickening.

  143. Someone in the FCO may have gotten carried away with the Olympic results. Invading Ecuadorean territory will not help Britain’s standing on issues like the Falkland Islands.

  144. Conchis,
    What an utter tripe and hollow contention? Despite the fact I care very little for Assange but your “two good people” are indeed so good that they lay on their complaints for months and years. Then deciding to go to the police.
    Further you seem to be mistaking seeking sanctuary in a church with political asylum in an embassy. In simpler words Assange is being politically persecuted in the “freedom loving” West and he has had to run to third world for asylum and that is the shame of it all, that evidently your emotional outburst does not take any account of.

  145. I think we should also remember that both of the women that Assange slept with were not unwilling companions of his.
    There was no rape.
    It’s just a way to shoot the messenger.

  146. The implications at least for British diplomats abroad are ominous and. in a worse case scenario, we might even be witnessing the death knell of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

  147. “it would be wholly wrong to claim that the British neocons need any encouragement to act against international law.
    they simply dont.” Wendy.
    Key point. As I wrote earlier on the recent ‘anaconda’ thread, they invaded Iraq against international law – after that, the Rubicon dried up.

  148. A reminder here of what Correra was up against in September 2010. All power to his success.
    James Petras is particularly well informed on Latin America and there are other pieces by him about Ecuador on Dissident Voice.

  149. DoNNyDarKo, your link does not work. This one does though.

  150. 100,000 hits in 100 minutes probably due to RT News putting a link to your site – and this page! – on their “live update” site:
    (You make an appearance at “11:28 GMT”: “Craig Murray, British political activist and former ambassador to Uzbekistan, says if UK police storm the Ecuadorian embassy, British diplomats worldwide will be left with no protection.”).

  151. But the two Swedish women involved in this affair haven’t complained that Assange raped, assaulted, or molested them. Read the leaked transcripts of the police interviews, nowhere do they make these claims or allegations. Surely this is an important ‘detail’ which has been completely ignored by the UK media and the UK courts, but of course the UK courts haven’t looked at the merits of the case, because there is no ‘case’ as Assange hasn’t been charged with anything in Sweden.

    The reason he hasn’t been charged is because the state’s case is so weak and flimsy and the evidence of a crime doesn’t exist and the women’s version of events cannot be proved, and if the Swedes charged Assange with using a split condom, and somehow this has morphed into rape, the lack of strength of the Swedish case would be clear to everyone, so they prefer not to issue specific charges Assange can answer, and instead leave things open, as using a split condom isn’t rape, something even the dumbest UK journalist could understand.

    And what’s chilling about this affair is how little scrutiny the UK press has subjected the Swedish rumours and allegations to. Why? Because if one did scrutinize them their patent absurdity would become apparent and questions would be raised about the quality of the Swedish case and Swedish justice, that can allow such a feeble case to grow out of all proportion on political grounds, sexual political grounds.

  152. @ David Mills,
    You said “I actually view the possibility that the suggested action by the UK is being considered as at the least unwise and at the worst dangerous. As for legality, I leave that to lawyers.”
    Myself a lawyer, I am appalled at this decision.
    The decision has discernible aspects:-
    1. The international political dimension; and
    2. The legal dimension; and
    3. The domestic political level.
    Craig Murray has indicated that political pressure has caused Cameron to come to a decision. Given the wider implications of this decision, and with due regard for Executive authority, in a democratic society, should one not be questioning whether first Parliament, and then the Cabinet should have a say? Surely, since the authorities know where Assange is, then there need not be a rush to ignorant behaviour and international embarrassment and disgrace. If done, this will reflect extremely poorly on Britain, especially the fact of HMG consistently reminding other countries of their duties under human rights and international law. Consider this:-
    “A statement has been issued by the Foreign Secretary. “The UK does not accept the principle of diplomatic asylum. It is far from a universally accepted concept: the United Kingdom is not a party to any legal instruments which require us to recognise the grant of diplomatic asylum by a foreign embassy in this country. Moreover, it is well established that, even for those countries which do recognise diplomatic asylum, it should not be used for the purposes of escaping the regular processes of the courts.” Thus, the British government is not prepared to give Assange safe passage from the UK.
    Imperial hypocrisy reigns supreme. Harpie made this observation:-
    Pinochet had women raped by dogs and Britain wouldn’t extradite him;
    Now, by contrast with due regard for the Bill of Rights 1688 ( UK) and subsequently – the First Amendment of the American Constitution ( free speech) can one now weigh the implications where a barbaric torturer had been protected by HMG, while a person who in point of law, both in the UK and US can sustain his position by reference to the Glorious Revolution and expressions in law mirrored in the American Constitution is to be yielded as sacrificial offering – how does one sustain credibility with regard to the government actions then with Pinochet and the actions now with Assange? I guess, a clever lawyer, in defence of HMG, might be able to provide some precedent to explain the stark contrast between one set of events ( Pinochet) versus the other, and might de facto or de jure give some validity to HMG’s proposed actions. The fact is that with matters such as the Matrix-Churchill scandal; the Kuwaiti dissident who was shipped over to the Caribbean nation of Dominica to permit HMG continuing its arms sales, under threat that if the UK continued to give asylum, there would be no more contracts for arms, serves well to exemplify some of the double standards which have been applied.
    Since sex has entered the discussion, I raise an argument that the alleged sexual violations of Assange, might be contrasted with the animal rapes effected by Pinochet. By contrast one might note:-
    Assange has told the Swedish police and authorities that he is willing to be interviewed – a perfectly reasonable offer.
    Pinochet, a torturer and murderer, was, alas, not ever able or willing to address the allegations against him and HMG protected him to the ultimate degree.
    What credible explanation exists for the inaction of the Swedish authorities in refusing to advance the matter by taking the first step in the judicial process of interviewing the accused man?
    We live in a corrupt world and demonstrably HMG is again heading down that path.
    On the second limb, this would be a flagrant legal violation, and I fully endorse the analysis of Craig Murray as being accurate. There is a legal right for the Ecuadorian Embassy to grant asylum and there is no violation under law that the Ecuadorians have breached, such that the expressed intention of HMG (or – more accurately – Cameron) would make the storming of the Ecuadorian Embassy legal. Consider the furore in 1979 in Iran when the Iranians stormed the American Embassy at the time of the revolution. In these peaceful times, and by parity of reasoning – does anyone in Government realise the serious and lasting implications of what is about to be done? One can clearly see the equivalence of the US embrace of the torturer, the Shah of Iran, and the embrace of HMG of Pinochet. One disingenuous route the government may take is to revoke diplomatic status – then storm the Ecuadorian Embassy – then tell the populace that HMG acted lawfully, because the Ecuadorians at the time of the invasion of the Embassy Ecuador was not protected under international law.
    I anticipate that the British public will be supportive of Assange and there will then be protests and direct clashes with the police when many decent people seek to assist Assange.


  153. Her Majesty’s official opposition appear to be remarkably quiet in all of this. Speaks volumes really!!

  154. Ben Franklin

    16 Aug, 2012 - 9:51 pm

    All we get in the States is bullshit about the rapist and his whorish dissemination of
    State secrets. The Denial of Service is probably compliments of Thomas Bodstrom.

  155. Eurotunnel: the funniest thing with Eurotunnel is (should I write this here?):
    – You don’t give passenger names when booking the place on the train (and the train ticket can also be purchased on the spot) – the company is not interested in passenger names.
    – Border Police usually DON’T BOTHER CHECKING YOUR PASSPORT. Not even looking at you. They don’t even bother coming up to your car – they just wave you to drive past. You must be aware you are leaving paradise anyway.
    – Your passport is checked only by the French (and they take quite some time in this) – but only after leaving British territory (but still on this side of the Channel). No checks on the other side of the tunnel – just drive off the train and on the motorway.

  156. So Hague says:-

    “Diplomatic immunity exists to allow embassies and diplomats to exercise proper diplomatic functions, and the harboring of alleged criminals or frustrating a due legal process in a country is not a permitted function of diplomats under the Vienna Convention,”

    So – tell me now – how does HMG’s postion now square with Pinochet then?

  157. Louise Mensch ist kein Mensch (although, for all I know, the neuter “das Mensch” may apply to her).

    Louise Mensch: UK Should Cut Ties With Ecuador Over Julian Assange Asylum :

    Tory MP Louise Mensch has said Britain should break off diplomatic relations with Ecuador after the country agreed to grant political asylum to Julian Assange.

    The WikiLeaks founder took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in a bid to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual assault.

    “Expel Ecuadorean Ambassador, break off relations, enter former embassy, arrest fugitive, extradite. One of several ways #rape #Assange,” she tweeted on Thursday after the asylum decision was made.

    She added: “Assange is going to Sweden. We are going to extradite him there. That’s it and that’s all.”

  158. William Jefferson Fourteeen Pints Hague to you, Jives. Fact is, the septics don’t need ANYTHING on the bombastic little phoney. He loves them with a passion. Think Atlantic Bridge.
    (btw, where’s Werritty?)

  159. Lord (Alex) Carlisle (LibDem, sorry) currently opining on R4 that there is no basis in UK law for forcing entry to the embassy, and that Ecuador would be able to sue, and win, if that happened. Concluded with some abuse of the Ecuador govt, but points made above seem to be accurate. In a nutshell, Vienna Convention trumps Thatcher’s shitty little Act (which was designed for major criminals). Richard Ottaway being very bland about US dimension…”we can’t make conditions..” IOW, we don’t give a fuck if the Yanks get him, so long as it doesn’t look like we did it. (We don’t want more riots?)

  160. Re. Mensch; complete idiocy of the woman should now be clear for all to see. Ashcroft must be really chuffed at the impact of her social networking on the choice of Corby’s next MP:

  161. Billy Fourteen Pints of Richmond, is to be Lord high Bumbastic now?
    This really takes the cake, total lawlessness, and cocking a snook at any and all international conventions, what dark era we are living in?
    To find human rights are respected much more in the developing world than they are respected in the lands of the “freedomfrie loving, apple pie eating, and cola swigging” patriots?

  162. Komodo,
    Never mind Mensch bint, what about the fields of Gove that are springing around the towns and cities?

  163. Here is a useful time line of the Assange case.
    It also gives some details on how the trial of those accused of sex crimes is handled. The trial is held behind closed doors, with a judge and three lay persons. The lay persons are appointed by political parties and are often members of the party that appoints them. The secrecy means that the public is not made aware of any weaknesses in the case. Any appeal is also held behind closed doors. Scary – guilty until found guilty by the sound of it.

  164. Slightly OT, I was googling on Assange & Wikileaks, & was reminded of Echelon & Duncan Campbell’s role in revealing this.
    What has happened to Campbell, I can see nothing recent about or by him?

  165. Cameron’s Obama’s butler.
    You Brits are now America’s W.O.G.s.
    Too bad asskissing’s not an Olympic event.

  166. Dear me, I know the Guardian can be crap at times, but this evening it has released an editorial coming out against Assange, and saying that he should be repatriated to Sweden. They say “Since Mr Assange is wanted by the courts in Sweden…” which I think they can’t even themselves believe.
    I am dumbfounded.

  167. I note with interest a couple of commentators suggest that WikiLeaks may be a CIA front or ‘psy-op’ operation.
    I know little about the WikiLeaks organisational structure, my own confidence is in the cryptographer and brilliant researcher, Julian Assange. Julian is somewhat anonymous with a ‘previous’ resembling ‘shades of grey’ and with little insight one can gain by reading his few past publications.
    As a cryptographer myself I do know Julian Assange expressed an interest in variants of NSA’s Koken loop crypto-algorithm. I hoped to allure him into trying to break a few recorded Delta-modulated and encrypted communications from the morning of September 11th 2001. This led to my own research into Julian which directed me to his acquaintance and stimulus, George Soros. George funded some research into the catastrophe at the World Trade Center believing the official account was a collusion in plan. George said the Iraq war was illegal and immoral and he despised George W Bush and was prepared to sacrifice all his wealth if his [Bush’s] bid for reelection in 2004 could be guaranteed a defeat.
    After this research my initial ‘bad vibes’ about Julian Assange turned through 180 as I realise he has achieved an immeasurable victory against deception and censorship, be it corporate media, government agencies and even our despised secret services cover-ups most notably complicity in torture, humiliation and immorality.

  168. Ben Franklin

    17 Aug, 2012 - 1:06 am

    ” I know the Guardian can be crap at times” What is it about the ‘status quo’ you don’t understand/

    If you dare tickle the tail of the Dragon, you must be prepared for an onslaught. The Information Age is a structure of Power. He who controls the info is King.

  169. I have re-posted this article to my blog here –

    I hope that is of some assistance.

  170. Huh? A desire for ministerial salaries and privileges is all it takes to acquiesce to the smashing of an accord that must inevitably bite you in the arse? How does that make any sense? Surely, in this case they could eat their cake and have it too? It would be the easiest thing in the world for the given ministers to stand up to the US, stick by the convention, and still retain their privileges? It’s a thing they do daily, surely?
    And all this over Assange? Clearly Assange has the approval of the bloc-media. We only know who he is because they want us to. The media airs his ‘revelations’ in precisely the same way that they utterly fail to air equally as spectacular revelations that have appeared on any number of other sites for years. To give Assange the same treatment that they gave Scott Ritter (say) would be as easy as blinking. A thing they do daily…
    As for ‘might’, you’re joking surely? What might does the UK have in this respect? None at all? Who could they punish for a tit-for-tat reprisal, and how could they do it? They are a minnow – if minnows were capable of wagging fingers that is (phoxinus phingerinus, ha ha) – but beyond that why would anyone fear them?
    For mine, two conclusions are inescapable. The smashing of the convention is the point of the exercise. Secondly, this is driven not by any laughable concern for a loss of privilege but rather by a far more powerful interests, ones that clearly supercede both the UK’s (or any other country’s) sovereign rights and interests, and that clearly would view the destruction of an otherwise necessary, sensible, and time-honoured mechanism for cooperation between nation states as a good thing.
    And no it’s not the US. This smashing of the convention will be non-partisan biter-of-every-arse, with the US not just ‘not-least-amongst-them’, but foremost amongst them. And so! The question is: in whose interests is this being done?

  171. Sexual political pressure is employed wherever people feel powerful enough to get away with it. Utilised by the UK FCO on Craig and utilised by political Islam in Syria. Forbidden in secular and Islamic Law equally.
    Diplomatic sanctuary is inviolable in secular and Islamic Law equally. Empires have been destroyed in revenge for murdering envoys. e.g. Ghengis Kahn
    It’s no good wittering about these powerful people regretting their law-breaking. In the new world order existing international laws are garbage. We’re going to have to accept the new rules, long before the likes of WHague have to eat poo.
    They will regret it, same as they regretted feeding cows on sheep brains, but they will say that nobody could have predicted it.
    The fact that Julian Assange has cracked codes does not mean that he is not part of psy-ops. He could easily have been given the codes in order to give his biassed leaks credibility.
    This is the time of fitna/ confusion. The rules for dealing with confusion are that 1/ you keep youself informed and 2/ you follow your instincts completely even against your supposed friends and 3/ you stay close to the touchstone of Divine revelation.
    Plenty more to come so enjoy the fitna roller-coaster fair-ground. Coming to your town soon.

  172. guess we are going to have to issue new flags .. with 51 stars for our new state.

  173. Ben Franklin

    17 Aug, 2012 - 2:09 am

    ” with 51 stars for our new state.” Puerto Rico has dibs, on that.

  174. Billy “14 pints” Hague: “The UK does not accept the principle of diplomatic asylum.”
    Can anyone think of any example of any country whose government accepted an individual was legitimately seeking asylum from their jurisdiction? But it’s jolly useful not to accept this principle. We get to refuse the asylum seeker that we don’t approve of, and deny any of our own have any basis whatsoever.
    What are small countries with fragile governments supposed to hold up as a standard, when the “mother of democracy” carries on like this? Would any politician/leader get more than snorts of “dream on” should they try to adopt decent standards in such a country?

  175. The Irish Times Editorial gets it almost right.

    “… the decision by Ecuador yesterday to stand up to British bullying and to grant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum is to be applauded. And it should be strongly diplomatically supported by the Government, whatever the merits of Assange’s own case. Once London’s threat had been made to revoke under a 1987 law the Ecuadorean embassy’s diplomatic status on the dubious grounds that it had ceased “to use land for the purposes of its mission or exclusively for the purposes of a consular post”, Quito had no political choice.

    “It had to stand by Assange, who may now face the prospect of living in the embassy for many years as the British, insisting on their obligation to extradite him to Sweden to face questioning over alleged rapes, are most unlikely to grant him safe passage to Ecuador. It would not be unknown – in 1978 two Pentecostal families from Chernogorsk in Siberia burst into the US Moscow embassy seeking help to leave the country. They would be there in the embassy under US protection for five years. Such protection, like that extended by the US recently in Beijing to blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, is an important dimension of the diplomacy of democratic countries. It is being jeopardised by the dangerous British assertion that it can unilaterally define what constitutes diplomatic activity…”

    The editorial goes slightly downhill after that but that’s pretty good.

  176. There have been 11 versions of the BBC report, so far. Note how they have tickled it up each time in order to strengthen their support of HMG.
    Apologies for my earlier misspelling of Correa’s name. I must have been thinking of Gordon Correra, the BBC’s special spookwatcher!
    It should be interesting to see what comes out of this meeting on Sunday –
    The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) has convened an “extraordinary meeting” in Ecuador on Sunday to discuss the situation at the embassy.
    A statement released on the website of the foreign ministry of Peru, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the intergovernmental union, said: “The Foreign Ministry of Peru lets public opinion know that, in concordance with the statutory responsibilities of the temporary presidency of UNASUR, at the behest of the Republic of Ecuador and after consulting member states, an extraordinary meeting of the Counsel of Foreign Ministers of the Union has been convened on Sunday August 19 in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador.
    “The meeting has been requested with the intention of considering the situation raised at the embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom.”
    Julian Assange is said to be making a statement, also on Sunday, at 2pm.
    I assume that the place is fully bugged by our friends in SIS.

  177. I like the term skulldugger, seems to be a fine term to be used. IF is a huge word and a lot of effort seems to be going into it here. Facts are what is needed. The US has been doing a lot of things that are coming to light that the American people are appalled by. To have someone actually show the Sleeping Giant(the actual people of the US) that their government is not the Knight in Shining Armor is not a good thing for those in power. Right now it is an election year, those in power wish to stay in power. They are not about to do anything to wake the Giant up or to give weight to what a lightbearing might be saying. I would be worried about Britain, are their people as powerless as it seems the US are? To yell the US pressured them, come on really? Its like the Devil made them do it. Brits are the ones who are going to face the consequences with their embassies, I think one would be emailing, texting,and phoning those who do make the decisions and let them know what you all feel about this.

  178. No show without Aaronovitch the shill for the gangsters-in-charge. He says – “There’s no way our government can back down.” Quite revolting. On Channel 4.
    Vaughan Smith v David Aaranovitch on Assange

  179. A good piece from Paul Craig Roberts.
    Auggust 16, 2012
    Ecuador President Rafael “We Are Not A Colony” Correa Stands Up To The Jackbooted British Gestapo

    ‘A coward dies many deaths; a brave man dies but once.
    The once proud British government, now reduced to Washington’s servile whore, put on its Gestapo Jackboots and declared that if the Ecuadorean Embassy in London did not hand over WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, British storm troopers would invade the embassy with military force and drag Assange out. Ecuador stood its ground. “We want to be very clear, we are not a British colony,” declared Ecuador’s Foreign Minister. Far from being intimidated the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, replied to the threat by granting Assange political
    The once law-abiding British government had no shame in announcing that it would violate the Vienna Convention and assault the Ecuadorean Embassy, just as the Islamic students in the 1979 Khomeini Revolution in Iran took over the US Embassy and held the diplomatic staff captive. Pushed by their Washington overlords, the Brits have resorted to the tactics of a pariah state.’
    I think the aphorism is one of Mandela’s.

  180. Jon @ 12AM, 8/17 — Someone seems have put a horse’s head in whoever edits the The Guardian. Quite the good little fluffers of the current government they’ve become, at least re: foreign affairs and, of course, wars.

  181. BTW, since many embassies have guards, with weapons I assume – or is that forbidden in London?, or even military personnel posted as guards, could the London bobbies busting into the embassy be greeted with gunfire?

    A shootout at the Not OK Embassy? At High Noon?

  182. Holy shit! You sheep are so gullible. You would let them turn this into you vs them, when the banks are the only crime you should be focusing on. Welcome to Idiocracy.

  183. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.

  184. Holy Crap! You sheeple are actually going to let this turn into You vs Government? The Government is for, by and of, remember? The Banks, remember the Banks? Remember 777 drop on the Stock Market, while congress voted? Too big to Jail?? Wake Up, World!

  185. “the rights of a man who has poked a gorilla with a stick and is complaining that it now wants to kill him.”
    You, Sir, are an American, and I claim my five pounds. Only Americans have this marked tendency to attempt to argue everything by analogy (and the analogy is almost never valid.)
    Please return to your hole and await further orders.

  186. “This came about after the 1984 Libyan shooting.”
    That’s a lie that’s been repeated and repeated. Especially in the last year or so. It is amazing and shocking how people will believe something that is provably wrong just because they have heard enough people say it before.
    Do some research, physical evidence proves that Yvonne Fletcher was not shot from the Libyan embassy
    Here’s a documentary from C4 Dispatches program made in the 90s.
    I suspect you dumbed down morons will continue knee-jerking “Libyan Embassy” every time you hear “Yvonne Fletcher” even if you watch this a thousand times.

  187. “Cowards die many times before their deaths,
    The valiant never taste of death but once.” Julius Caesar (II, ii, 32-37)
    Shakespeare of course but used by Mandela.
    There is a terrible state of affairs in S Africa where the infighting in the ANC is obscuring the collapse of decent government. The head of the police is giving a press conference today. LonMin who own the Marilana mine is a successor to Goldsmith’s Lonrho plc. They employ 28,000. Cyril Ramaphosa is one of the directors. He held the position of Secretary General in the ANC and is said to be a multi millionaire.
    Among other positions, he is executive chairman of Shanduka Group, a company he founded. Shanduka Group has investments in the Resources Sector, Energy Sector, Real Estate, Banking, Insurance, and Telecoms (SEACOM). He is also chairman of The Bidvest Group Limited, and MTN. His other non-executive directorships include Macsteel Holdings, Alexander Forbes, Standard Bank and SABMiller. In March 2007 he was appointed Non-Executive joint Chairman of Mondi, a leading international paper and packaging group, when the company demerged from Anglo American plc.
    Zuma’s loss of the Presidency is being predicted and the CEO of LonMin has been hospitalized. What next as 19 miners lie dead at Marikana?

  188. Update. 30 miners are lying dead.

  189. Jon, at midnight – and with this shameful intimidation of a sovereign embassy, it is indeed ‘midnight’ for the UK and international law – I am not the least bit surprised by the craven line the Guardian is taking. This is how liberal imperialism works, dialectically-speaking. It is the same logic which argues that to destroy a country is to free it.
    Anon, at 07.29am, regarding PC Fletcher, absolutely. Did the SIS (MI6) assassinate her? In any case, that situation – and the SAS storming of the Iranian Embassy siege in London a few years earlier, were entirely different situations from the situation in relation to the wholly peaceful Ecuadorian Embassy, a mission which is simply doing its job in offering a political dissident asylum.

  190. “The UK government must be on crack”
    We know for a fact Gideon Osborne (and Dave apparently) enjoys the white stuff, but only in the company of prostitutes mind.

  191. Fay Buchanan

    17 Aug, 2012 - 8:15 am


    Helpful reader for the Wikileaks-deluded among us:

  192. Hague looked decidedly shifty extruding The Official Line at his press conference yesterday.

    I’d quite like to see the body language of State Dept. apparatchik Victoria Nuland while she did the same at this Q&A session linked to by this US blogger-

  193. Anna Ardin – looks like Mensch (sorta), threw party to celebrate being “raped” by Assange…
    Her blog (see Thesis page) is interesting re. the Cuba connection.

  194. More on the subject – Ardin gives handy hints on revenge (and denies (a) writing and (b)deleting them):

  195. Ronnie Biggs he ain’t…..oh, wait a minute…

  196. Fay Buchanan

    17 Aug, 2012 - 9:44 am

    This film tells the story of psychological warfare from the Ludlow Massacre in the early 20th century to the selling of the Iraq war at the beginning of the 20th:
    [Mod/Jon: Posted under “Daisy Myers” but same IP as “Fay Buchanan” earlier. No sockpuppeting please, folks]

  197. Jon, couldn’t agree with you more about the Guardian editorial. What is even worse is the top comment says something ‘Great editorial this’ when in fact it is the establishment view. I credit most readers with the intellect to see it for what it is.

  198. In the Guardian CiF:
    “Julian Assange asylum: Ecuador is right to stand up to the US”
    ‘The United States would paint itself as a promoter of human rights, but any right to make that claim is long gone’
    Mark Weisbrot

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