Ecuadorean Embassy Speech 74


I spent today inside the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange, who I am happy to say is both physically and mentally on very good form. I was sitting in the room behind him in a very comfortable leather armchair whilst he made his balcony speech, and I must say I thought the text of it was excellent.

I spoke immediately before Julian, from outside the Embassy. This was my own effort, which I hope provided some valuable context to the persecution of Assange.

I could not help but be struck by the ridiculously excessive police presence – hundreds and hundreds of policemen everywhere. I don’t think that the concept of freedom of information can be killed off by the extreme intimidation of a single man, but by Heavens, Hague and Cameron are going to try.


74 thoughts on “Ecuadorean Embassy Speech

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  • me in us

    @Jon — What happened to the sound when Craig started talking about William Hague? I thought his mike was being cut offscreen. Also, anybody, please tell me what the blank was? Neoconservative whats? Thanks

  • Brendan

    Good speech. Particularly liked the ‘neoliberal junta’ line. It’s hard to accept, and it’s contentious, but it’s valid.

    I love in Oz, and I see similarities. An Oz politician will similarly not risk their career by being deemed anti-american. I doubt that it’s subconscious careerism and rationalisation – I’m convinced that the politicians themselves are fully aware of what they are doing, and know fine well that challenging The Empire will result in the end of their career in front-line politics. This is, one reflection, quite startling. An elected representative can get away with all sorts of mischief, but one word in favour of Assange and they’re out. I’m currently reading Gorby’s memoirs, and the best analogy I can come up with is that it’s rather like the old Soviet Union, where corruption was ok, as long as you didn’t stray from the party line.

    And as to our media, it’s just all a little bit sad. They didn’t get into journalism to parrot the establishment line but, with rare exceptions, that’s what they all end up doing.

  • Clark

    More evidence that the US really does intend to extradite Assange:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/us-in-pursuit-of-assange-cables-reveal-20120817-24e8u.html

    “Australian diplomats expect that any charges against Assange would be carefully drawn in an effort to avoid conflict with the First Amendment free speech provisions of the US constitution.”

    I still don’t see how Sweden fits into this, but the allegations against Assange seem to be fabricated, or at least to have been deliberately cultivated by people within the Swedish authorities. This makes it likely, and probably inevitable, that Assange would be convicted in Sweden.

    I think the detour via Sweden is probably an exercise in propaganda / news management, and such projects work in a cumulative, piecemeal manner. It also buys time for the US while keeping Assange pinned down. But there are other possibilities also. Wikileaks, the organisation, is probably not powerless; remember the encrypted “insurance” file. Without a doubt, the general public see only part of the picture. Behind the scenes, a complex game of chess is probably in progress. The political classes are in the weaker position, so they may just be keeping Assange “in check” for as long as possible.

  • guest

    Charles Crawford: “To see him burbling on in his self-indulgent way from the balcony of an Embassy representing a country with as puny a human and media rights record as Ecuador takes post-modern irony literally to new heights.”
    .
    Guest: To read Charles Crawford burbling on in his self-indulgent way from a forum representing a country with as puny a human and media rights record as the UK takes post-modern irony literally to stratospheric heights.

  • craig Post author

    On the “why Sweden?” question, the answer is plain. It just happened to be where Assange was living. You needed to spring your honeytrap where he physically was, adapting it of course to local circumstances. That is all.

  • Jon

    @Me In Us, don’t know what happened to the sound – not sure of the source of the clip. Probably a mobile phone or camcorder was used, and I’d expect they go quiet if the wind changes the wrong way. I’ve made a couple of edits to the text; I presume Tariq Ali was speaking, so I’ve amended that.

  • Fedup

    post-modern irony literally to new heights

    On one hand we have the barefoot lawyer (ie busybody/do gooder/Helpy Helpington/Attention whore/Dorothy Miller/…..) in China, who is helped/aided/abetted (the blind bastard is suppose to have jumped out of the window and made his way to US embassy in Beijing)to make his way to US embassy and a big song and and dance later he is in US.

    On the other we have Assange, who takes refuge in an embassy of a third world country,for immunity from persecution here in UK. ie no longer “the mother of parliaments” cock and bull are cutting the mustard, the developing world are playing the same game as the “democracies”, and are ready to help the dissidents who are running away from the clutches of their ruthless tormentors in the developed world.

    However, you seem to verily believe; there is a copyright and a trade mark on the slogans “democracy”, “political asylum”, “dissident”, “political and financial corruption” . Hence the asinine assertions on the legalities and pedantries.

    The main facts before us are, Ecuadoran embassy has called the bluff of the West. This in turn has helped to crumble away the Western claims of oh so supremacy of the “democratic accountability”, which suddenly are sounding as hollows as the sincerity of the “would like fires with that”. This in turn unleashing the force of the neo conservatism ie the congenital fucking liars, which are let loose on us all to debate the technicality of the attacks on the Ecuadoran embassy.

    As the guy in the bar said; Nevermind that shit Here Comes Mongo , the cat is out of the bag, West no longer can occupy the moral high ground lecturing the world on “democracy”, and “accountability” whilst doing what every other two bit dictator does, and persecutes anyone he sees as a dissident.

  • Anon

    Craig

    Sky coverage was curious. They really did show virtually the whole of your speech – even identified you as former Ambassador Craig Murray. Sadly the coverage was only for lip-readers as at no point did they turn the sound up and stop there pointless fill-time chat. I actually thought (shock!) they were about to when you were name checked but perhaps a quick loud word in the presenter’s ear cut it short before “let’s hear what he has to say.”

  • Alan Campbell

    Lib Dems, Alex Salmond, Assange. You do like to have a man crush, don’t you, Craig. And on all the wrong men. Nice one.

  • Rose

    Good courageous stuff Craig; shedding some light (and sanity) midst the encircling gloom. Keep trucking.

    Some of those gentlemen from the Met shoving one another in the background looked a bit uncomfortable – perhaps it was your suggestion that they too are at risk of having their collars felt.

  • Ex Pat

    > Jon 19 Aug, 2012 – 11:14 pm
    > Please put longer contributions – especially if not directly related – on your blog, and synopsise/link from here. Thanks.
    Afraid I don’t have such a thing.

    I thought to take advantage of the weekend’s ‘opportunity’, to help by filling the channel with ‘educational’ information, before the ‘mile wide and inch deep’ crowd – and/or shill avatars – filled it with rubbish, as they are, apparently, wont to do on Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. (Paid avatars? What a surprise! Shocked, Shocked! etc). ; )

    If you care to, you might make this the last. But obviously it’s your choice. With thanks. : )

    UK – RULED BY US EMPIRE PUPPETS – WHO KNEW?! – 4

    ROBIN RAMSAY – UK LOBSTER

    THE CITY

    ‘WELL HOW DID WE GET HERE?”

    OIL – Page 83

    “Reducing inflation and deciding what to do with the coming oil money were two big items on the economic agendum in late 1970s Britain. Let’s take oil first. In the Labour Cabinet Tony Benn wanted to create an oil fund – what would now be called a sovereign wealth fund – to be used for industrial investment. (This is what Norway did with its oil money; their oil fund is now worth roughly $450 billion.) But after a debate in Cabinet, the fund idea was rejected. Benn noted in his diary:

    ‘So that is the end of the saga of oil revenues. They are now a part of general public expenditure…..we are going to give it away in tax cuts.’ 50

    – 50 Tony Benn, Conflicts of Interest: Diaries 1977-80 (London: Hutchinson, 1990) pp. 280/1.

    ER, Not quite ‘the end of the saga of oil revenues’. – Page 86 –

    “Where had the oil riches gone? The Guardian’s Victor Keegan wrote in 1983:

    ‘Most of it, in the supreme irony of economic history, has gone to pay out unemployment to those who would not have lost their jobs if we had not discovered [oil] in the first place.’ (Emphasis added.)55

    “If British economic history since the 1920s shows one thing it is that these ‘ironies’ always benefit the financial and overseas sector and not domestic manufacturing.”

    The ‘overseas sector’, as in the US Empire, aided by the UK Elite, in this case. QED. UK Traitors – (Tory) B’stards all!? No change there, then. ; )

    UNCLE SAM’S NEW LABOUR – Page 88

    UK TRAITORS OR ‘REALISTS’! ?

    “The US government was also paying attention: in 1985 – only two years after Blair became an MP – an official in US embassy in London described him as ‘one of the brightest and most ambitious of recent Labor intake’;60 and the next year Blair took the first of his freebie trips to America.”

    “Brown and Blair were ‘modernisers’ and that had a specific meaning in this period: accept the power of the City and American global hegemony and give up all this nonsense about economic independence (let alone socialism).61 John Smith, another ‘moderniser’ in the Labour leadership, was on the steering committee of the Bilderberg group, one of the key elite forums promoting globalisation, from 1989 to 1992.62 In June 1991 Smith took his then understudy, Gordon Brown, to the Bilderberg meeting at Baden Baden. There Brown met the then obscure governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton. Blair attended the 1993 Bilderberg Conference in Athens.”

    Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs! Shocked, Shocked to discover gambling going on! ; )

    CASABLANCA

    The Captain Renault Award for recognizing US Empire illegal war, murder, torture-to-death and 27,000 missing ‘disappeared’ Muslims (“Are they alive or are they in mass graves?” – Robert Fisk). –

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-obama-has-to-pay-for-eight-years-of-bushs-delusions-1001092.html

    Given to those Shocked, Shocked! at the obvious. – Original – Casablanca – ; ) –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1DEG6BWgp0

  • Clark

    Craig, what you say makes sense regarding the honey trap, but if the US want Assange for “espionage”, why bother with the honey trap rather than just taking him from the UK? Assange’s legal team say that extradition to Sweden is a step towards extradition to the US. I can see how conviction in Sweden would be a propaganda victory, but not how extradition to Sweden would be a legal stepping-stone.

    In all, the propaganda seems more important than the legalities, and Charles Crawford’s derogatory comments here would seem to confirm that.

    The US must be certain that Assange will be convicted if tried in Sweden, or they wouldn’t be pressuring the UK government to hand him to Sweden. Assange’s acquittal would be a propaganda disaster.

  • Chris Jones

    The Cameron/BBC regime is under increasing pressure from the whistleblowing rebels according to unconfirmed sources.The attack on truth and justice by BBC and Westminster has sparked international condemnation, but Britain’s government has insisted this is a justified operation against rebels.
    .

    The government says its office of public information mounted a special operation after tip-offs from local people about large numbers of whistle blowing rebels operating from hideouts in various villages and cities , allthough these reports are as of yet not verified.
    .

    A statement from Westminster said the hideouts had been destroyed, with a large number of rebel whistleblowers – or ‘law abiding citizens’ as they are sometimes called – being instantly jailed, with dozens of others captured.
    .

    Some of the captured were paraded on state TV, with the images also appearing to show the rebels holding what seem to be large quantities of plackards, and handing around what unconfirmed sources have described as pamphlets

  • guest

    Assange is just one of the first, they will be coming for all that try and stand in their way. If what is happening now does that make that clear to everyone then nothing will, until they get the knock on the door. Please wake up.

  • Jives

    Alan Campbell,

    As we’ve come to expect from you on this blog,typical ad hominem attack on Craig.That’s all you ever do on this blog.I guess you don’t have the smarts to engage in the argument or else are just following your line manager’s orders.

    Pathetic,really,Alan.

  • Jives

    Charles Crawford,

    You’re a moral coward hiding behind access and privilege.And,of course,if that isn’t enough you’ve got the Whips to steer/blackmail you.How easy,then,to just ollover and toe the idiot line.

    You’re an intellectual coward and unreliable witness Mr.Crawford.

    You’re most probably a Mason too-another gang of cowards trapped by their own corruption and cowardice.Freemasonry?A cheats charter.

    You’re a sham Mr.Crawford and i suspect you know this but are too cowardly to address reality.

  • me in us

    @Fedup — Can’t it be a case of “friends don’t let friends ____”? In this case, do injustice or go crazy or commit constitutioncide or patricide or lawicide or whatever you want to call it when a government goes insane and attacks its own country’s heritage? I think Ecuador is doing us and the world a great favor and giving us a fine lesson in manners too, muchas gracias.

    I just looked at Michael Moore’s website and he’s posting a piece by a guy who was at the embassy Friday and describes placards he saw there. This is my favorite: “If Wars Can Be Started by Lies, They Can Be Stopped By Truth.” Because that’s what we’re talking about, whether citizens in democracies can know the truth and hold their governments accountable. Because that’s supposed to be our job.

    http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/my-visit-london-embassy-under-threat

  • Jives

    Fedup,

    Sorry dude but i reached the conclusion many years ago that Michael Moore is a fake,a strawman erected to promote the absurd notion that America is a country with political choice/two parties.

    To paraphrase Gore Vidal “There are no two parties in America.They are both branches of the same tree:the Property Party.”

  • Jives

    Me In Us,

    Perish the thought i would ever piss on anyone let alone friends! :.)

    Sorry but something about Michael Moore just doesn,t add up for me.The wilderness of mirrors/rabbit hole runs very deep.

  • Jives

    Me In Us.

    It’s a good picture but it doesn’t,im afraid,change my nagging doubts about Michael Moore’s bona-fides.

  • Simon

    The assange rape allegations ring so familiar. Dominic Strauss Kahn battled similar circumstances recently. It was all about tarnishing a persons credibility. The US would much prefer to extradite a convicted rapist to their shores, by than hopefully to a supportive public. If only more government personel could follow Craig’s moralistic point of view and work humanitarily for the people’s who elected them into position. Keep the momentum, encourage constant discussion on the assange case. My hat goes off to Ecuador. A true democracy .

  • writerman

    Craig seems convinced that Assange was the victim of a classic ‘honey-trap’ operation, in order to compromise him, destroy his reputation, and through him smash Wikileaks.

    Whilst virtually all the ingredients of a carefully arranged ‘honey-trap’ appear to be present, I’m doubtful it was an attack orchestrated by a combination of the Swedish, UK, and US secret services, with who knows who else was involved.

    But, then, there are so many odd things about this affair, that I wouldn’t be surprised.

    What does seem clear is that as soon as the story emerged the secret services were involved in spinning it for all it was worth. How exactly did the story leak to the press in Sweden? Who leaked the interview transcripts? Was it from inside the police or the Swedish justice department? Leaking the documents is a crime in Sweden, how come the UK journalists aren’t interested in the Swedish lack of interest in finding out who was behind the leaks? One would imagine that ‘raping’ the two women in the media by revealing their identities and intimate details of their sex lives, would galvanize the liberal press into action, as women’s rights apparently mean so much to them. But, I suppose the idea that the media have ‘raped’ the women just to entertain the masses with a juicy sex-scandal isn’t what our hypocritical and self-righteous press are focused on.

    Behind these trumped-up accusations is Assange’s perceived anti-Americanism, which is he real crime. The rest is merely an excuse.

  • John Goss

    Exactly right, Jives, re Bradley Manning. You tell the truth you go to prison. You lie and cheat for your Zionist/neo-con masters and get a big back-hander.

  • writerman

    And there’s another odd bit of text in the Guardian today. They state that Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning in relation to allegations of “sexual misconduct.” What I’d like to know is, whatever happened to “attacks” “rape” “molestation”? What exactly is “sexual misconduct.” Is “sexual misconduct” even defined as a crime in Sweden? I don’t believe it is. I’m damn sure it isn’t in the UK. What a broad, elastic, and vague term “sexual misconduct” is, and a lot is left to the imagination, a lot is implied, which is the point in using it, which is a form of cowardly smear, and typical of the Guardian’s coverage of this affair.

    One wonders, whatever happened to liberal Britain? When did they become so reactionary? It’s one thing to criticize an individual for being anti-American, that’s political rhetoric. But to “rail-road” a person on trumped-up charges of sexual misconduct, in order to destroy their reputation, crush dissent, and ruin them, is something else. It’s a crime.

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