CIA Look to Swamp Correa 311


About a month ago I asked a former colleague in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office what Hague saw as the endgame in the Julian Assange asylum standoff, and where the room for negotiation lay. My friend was dismissive – the policy was simply to wait for the Presidential election in Ecuador in February. The United States and allies were confident that Correa will lose, and my friend and I having both been senior diplomats for many years we understood what the United States would be doing to ensure that result. With Correa replaced by a pro-USA President, Assange’s asylum will be withdrawn, the Metropolitan Police invited in to the Embassy of Ecuador to remove him, and Assange sent immediately to Sweden from where he could be extradited to the United States to face charges of espionage and aiding terrorism.

I have been struck by the naivety of those who ask why the United States could not simply request Assange’s extradition from the United Kingdom. The answer is simple – the coalition government. Extradition agreements are government to government international treaties, and the decision on their implementation is ultimately political and governmental – that is why it was Teresa May and not a judge who took the final and very different political decisions on Babar Ahmad and Gary Mackinnon.

CIA supporters in the UK have argued vociferously that it would be impossible for Sweden to give Assange the assurance he would not be extradited to the United States, with which he would be prepared to return to Sweden to see off the rather pathetic attempted fit-up there. In fact, as extradition agreements are governmental not judicial instruments, it would be perfectly possible for the Swedish government to give that assurance. Those who argue otherwise, like Gavin Essler and Joan Smith here, are not being truthful – I suspect their very vehemence indicates that they know that.

Most Liberal Democrat MPs are happy to endorse the notion that Assange should be returned to Sweden to face sexual accusations. However even the repeatedly humiliated Lib Dem MPs would revolt at the idea that Assange should be sent to face life imprisonment in solitary confinement in the United States for the work of Wikileaks. That is why the United States has held off requesting extradition from the United Kingdom, to avoid the trouble this would cause Cameron. I am not speculating, there have been direct very senior diplomatic exchanges on this point between Washington and London.

There was confidence that the Correa problem would soon pass, but the State Department has since been shocked by the return of Hugo Chavez. Like Correa, senior US diplomats had convinced themselves – and convinced La Clinton – that Chavez was going to lose. The fury at Chavez’s return has led to a diktat that the same mistake must not be made in Ecuador.

CIA operations inside Ecuador are in any case much less disrupted than in Venezuela. I learn that the US budget, using mostly Pentagon funds, devoted to influencing the Ecuadorean election has, since the Venezuelan result, been almost tripled to US $87 million. This will find its way into opposition campaign coffers and be used to fund, bribe or blackmail media and officials. Expect a number of media scandals and corruption stings against Correa’s government in the next few weeks.

I do not have much background on Ecuadorean politics and I really do not know what Correa’s chances of re-election are. Neither do I know if any of the opposition parties are decent and not in the hands of the USA. But I do know that the USA very much want Correa to lose, were very confident that he was going to lose, and now are not. From their point of view, the danger is that in upping the ante, their efforts will become so obvious they will backfire in a nationalist reaction. My US source however is adamant that the Obama adminstration will not actually use the funds to incite another military coup attempt against Correa. That has apparently been ruled out. Assange being expelled into the arms of the CIA by a newly installed military dictatorship might be a difficult sell even for our appalling mainstream media.


311 thoughts on “CIA Look to Swamp Correa

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  • Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    thanks, crab.

    I’ve been telling myself, for years, I should learn Spanish. Mebbe the next life…

  • Jose

    Many of us don’t speak Spanish. Would you translate the piece?

    Which one? They are basically just reports (or translations) of Craig’s post. But I can translate some of the most interesting comments underneath:

    At ecuadorinmediato.com:

    Luis Valdivieso Vidal: All Ecuadorians who love this country must vote for Correa Feb. 17 and leave the US stranded.

    Williams Torres Verdugo: I’m an Ecuadorian who left the country 13 years ago, fed up and with the conviction never to return. I felt that politicians were a bunch of shameless thieves, and that the change we all dream of would never arrive. When Correa won, I thought he was just another shameless politician. A year into his presidency, I was told he was truly changing things, and I started to follow his work. I traveled to Ecuador and begun to believe in the change. Today I feel proud as an Ecuadorian of the president we have, and I dream of returning to my country. I’m working on that, and I’ll return with confidence that the dark and corrupt past will never return. The Ecuadorian dream is becoming a reality, and us Ecuadorians will not allow ourselves to be robbed of everything good that’s happening, and we won’t allow the shameless politicians from the past to come back, even if they are helped by the US, who are the worst terrorists and exploiters of the world… no more IMF or World Bank, who have caused a lot of damage in the Americans, and in some European countries.

    Belarmino Vasquez: Be alert Ecuadorians. Who could be the beneficiaries of these filthy and dirty CIA funds, used to discredit, slander and undermine the work of Correa and disallow his reelection? Could it be that dictocrat Lucio [Gutierrez] is behind this? Could it be the mass media, a well known lapdog and servile to the North-American empire? Why is it that Lucio [Gutierrez] in his desperation recently declared that “we either unite or we go under”? Be very alert fellow Ecuadorians!

    At eltelegrafo.com:

    Manuel Fuentes: The problem is that in Ecuador there are many vendepatrias [traitors who would sell their country for money]. There are many who worship Americans as if they were the greatest thing in the world! The US doesn’t like Correa because he doesn’t let himself be stomped on by Yankees, as any other vendepatria politician would!!! Correa doesn’t let himself be exploited by the Yankee imperialists! Chavez and Evo Morales have done the same thing. American hegemony over South America is ending.

    (That’s a fairly representative sample, not counting a couple comments skeptical of Craig’s claims.)

  • Fletcher

    @ MJ: 22 Oct, 2012 – 12:36 pm


    “Which of the South American country has no national army, and has no budget for national defence”
    Costa Rica”

    MJ: Technically speaking, CR is a Central American country (i.e. not South American).

  • Komodo

    …los problemas políticos son nuestros y nosotros los vamos a resolver

    ( ..the political problems are ours, and we’re gonna sort them out.)

    Could do with a little of that in the UK, I think. But it sounds even better in Castellano.

  • Jose

    Luis,

    His cousin (Pedro Delgado, of COFIEC-Iran scandal fame) has a house in Miami and a green card as well.

    And Correa went to school in the US. So? One can easily be against empire, and still have connections to the US, and like many aspects of US society. Correa has given lectures at US schools after he became president, and he obviously respects US academia considerably.

    BTW, Pedro Delgado has a 3-bedroom house in Miami, bought 10 years ago with a mortgage, valued at less than the average such home in the area — and for this the media to this day is trying to pin corruption on him.

    Correa has had the good sense of using the oil exports windfall on social programs and infrastructure, that will ensure his re-election for as long as he wants to remain in office (hopefully, only until 2017).

    This is largely a myth. The latest data shows that 70% of state revenue is not from oil, but from taxes mostly. Correa has been very good at making tax collection more effective, and now Ecuador is pretty much up to international standards in this area.

  • Maria Fernanda Suasnavas

    Mr. Murray greet the public broadcaster of Ecuador, we are doing a series of reports with various official statements on the disclosures made ​​in the financial website of the CIA to prevent Rafael Correa is reelected in the next election … We hereby request you to please help us with an interview via skype or telephone, we await your reply. A hug Maria Fernanda Suasnavas, Journalist Ecuadortv

  • Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    “That’s a fairly representative sample”

    Thanks Jose. I was starting to feel like a fellow hard-of-hearing in a room full of conversations.

  • thatcrab

    Maria I hope Craig gets your Ecuadortv interview request soon!

    .
    Ben it can be nice not understanding anything well enough to have disagreements though. que? ah.. claro.

  • Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    Crab;

    “Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis”

    –Seneca__

  • thatcrab

    Venga Ben… Bueno… Claro!
    ah no i have the internet and discover the complex ramifications of your expression. Pero no es nada manana.

  • Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    Crab; I’m very morose over Clark’s departure. Levity later.

  • Jon

    Ben, thanks for your support for Clark, and I agree.

    Clark, will email you tomorrow, but this evening if you can, please get some rest. Ben’s right: this board wouldn’t be the same without you.

  • thatcrab

    He emailed a little, it sounds he got a bollocking from doctor who for breech of etiquette, which i attribute to the accidental mis-ip-ing of SB earlier.
    I am sorry i was not a sage contributer but a driver to recent disputes which were frustrating him/us. I think the disputes were proactive although harder for Clarks position than mine. I admit i was kind of happy he decided to give himself a break, but i am faithful he’ll return.
    I may better make more interval. – Slainte

  • Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    Crab; thanks for that. I hope you are right about that. He seems to have been thinking of another path for some time, I think. He may be headed for a breakthrough, but I am speaking as one who can only know what I intuit.

  • Joel

    Craig, your statements & assumptions are all well and good, you have the right to speak your mind here in the free world of course. But what are your sources (I refer here to general labels, obviously a specific revelation would destroy your connections to those sources)? From my perspective, I read 50% of your comments that are opinion stated as fact, not based on facts cited (even from an unnamed source). Any good journalist will say, this source reports X. From that source, comes X news story. Not an op-ed piece that lots of people listen to, that’s not journalism, that’s just being popular. You say the State Dept was shocked about Chavez’s success, and that the Correa problem has not gone away. What is your proof that this is not simply opinion, or matter of perspective on the situation?

  • AKarlin

    Dear Craig,

    I had a look at the opinion polling for the Ecuadorian Presidency from the Spanish Wikipedia for the 2013 elections. Correa is head and shoulders above the rest. The lowest puts him at 38%. The average is 45%-50%, and the opposition is spread out among many candidates.

    I think Correa is safe. The CIA might be able to do some dirty tricks but I don’t see any evidence they have the power to truly subvert democracy in any meaningful capacity. (Well, short of military coups, but that’s a whole different ball game and as you yourself say, it has been ruled out).

  • Miguel

    So Mr. Murray… You don’t have proofs but you still spread your nonsense? You don’t have any idea of the consequences this has for a democracy like Ecuador’s, threaten by Correa’s populism. I guess you don’t give a shit about the fact that this CIA nonsense has been taken as unquestionable by democracy enemies. Do you think that Correa’s rule is too democratic because of its -correct- approach to the Assange crisis? Now, democratic opposition to Correa -which also includes some left wing movements- will be accused of being CIA agents. Nice work, man. You better start studying basic latinamerican politics.

  • Anonymouse

    Ah, the delightful Arbed. So great to see you – now who, exactly, are you? Because you seem to think you know me, which is strange because I don’t know you. And I would never refer to AA as a sexually-suggestive term like “the cute [AA]”. Which is something you might have guessed from the fact that I took the time to censor all witness names. Oh, I’m sorry, or is the name “Anonymouse” unique on the internet?

    (I’ve also had one or two other people (also you?) on the comments of news sites claim they know me and use that same “cute” term.)

    “A blog created especially for this particular post!”

    Nah, that just happens to be the first post. I strongly suspect there will be others. 😉

    “And what a very, very long (and very, very nasty to Craig) post it is.”

    I’m sorry, I should have been all roses to someone who lies in order to smear alleged victims of sex crimes after mentioning their names in the press. I take it all back. Craig, you’re the bestest, goodest honestest rape-apologisty guy in the world!

    “Every last piece of testimony in the document is suggestive of AA only wanting to go along to support SW – except, of course, for that teeny detail of [AA] handing in as evidence a “used” condom which she said Assange “tore deliberately” but which has no DNA on it.”

    Which, as documented in the post, is *An Entirely False Statement On Your Part*. Which means your response simply reverts to the well-documented “Every last piece of testimony in the document is suggestive of AA only wanting to go along to support SW”.

    “She is very keen to tell us that the forensics lab did find “something” on it – a small speck of mitochondrial DNA”

    The “small speck” line is a pure fiction from your fantasy world. I posted the Swedish and a translation right there. It does NOT say “small speck”. It says that they found “något” on the condom. Need a dictionary? Here you go:

    http://folkets-lexikon.csc.kth.se/folkets/folkets.en.html#lookup&n%C3%A5got

    It says they found *something* on the condom and says nothing about the size. You are filling in the size with details from your fantasy world. The forensic examiner *specifically* states that it is *not* the amount of DNA that determines whether DNA can be seen by the test.

    You have been called on this. If you repeat it again, anywhere, I will feel more than justified in calling you a liar (deliberately repeating a known falsehood). Let’s be explicit: The Report Says Nothing About How Much Of Anything Was Found.

    “We can say that because a used condom would have DNA from TWO people on it – and proper chromosonal DNA at that – and this one has a tiny speck of mDNA from only ONE person.”

    The forensic examiner specifically states that it is not suspicious that they couldn’t isolate DNA. I’ve additionally chatted with someone who does DNA tests who also found it unsuspicious (he recognized immediately what test they did and was surprised they didn’t do the more sensitive test from the beginning). DNA is a very fragile molecule. In the right conditions, it can last many, many years. In poor conditions it can start breaking down in a matter of hours, and contamination can ruin even a fresh sample. Regardless of the quantity.

    To reiterate: the *Forensic Examiner* explicitly states that it is not suspicious. Wait a minute, what am I thinking. I’m dealing with Arbed, Super Forensics Man! Witness his amazing powers of knowing more than a professional forensic examiner without even having the sample on hand! Witness his amazing powers to fill in details that aren’t in the police report with his psychic abilities! GO JUSTICE LEAGUE!

    “there’s a comments facility, but good luck in getting anything past moderation”

    Right, because I have a long track record of… wait a minute, I have *no* track record of anything. So apparently in your mind, thinking an accused rapist should stand trial = “inherently blocking all contrary views”. Gotcha.

    “1) the page from the forensic report where policeman Mats Gehlin’s notes indicate that [SW]’s FIRST story to Linda Wassgren included mention of “popping balloon sounds” and retrieving a damaged condom from under her bed. … [SW] told a radically different story in her later formal interview with Irmeli Krans to avoid any potential prosecution for making false allegations. This then forced [AA] – who had originally planned that SW be the one to make the allegations, while she just “supported” – to go into full damage control mode – in press interviews, via the #talkaboutit twitter campaign, etc, etc)”

    Are you talking about this?

    “MÄ1 har inte märkt att någon kondom har gjorts sönder då det var mörkt i rummet och hon hörde att då misstänkt tog på sig kondomen var det en del ljud som om han drog i en ballong. Kondombiten hittades under sängen, under den del av sängen som misstänkt låg då han tog på sig kondomen.”

    Yeah, that’s so much more bloody likely than that he mistakenly typed a 1 instead of a 2 (there are scattered typos throughout the report because, believe it or not, police officers are human). No, it’s so much more likely that there’s a whole secret second story out there that nobody else took note of in the whole report, and then a giant conspiracy with the police and the alleged victims to cover it up! And that the prosecutor and two separate Swedish courts didn’t care.

    The anonymous interview with AA initiated by Aftonbladed (August 22, right?) actually damns your argument. Just ignoring the part where she refuses to go into details on the case, it states “The woman Aftonbladet spoke to yesterday was in her 30s and claims to have been subject to sexual assault, or molestation, but not rape.” and “The other woman wanted to report a rape. I gave my story as testimony to her story and to support her.” Oh, I’m sorry, Craig was saying that AA was crying rape, and you were defending him – please do continue, you two.

    But hey, lets take your latest conspiracy theory at face value! So, the plan when they went to the police was to have SW tell them about a broken condom and not AA, right? Gee, then how do you explain AA telling DB on the 19th that Assange destroyed the condom with her and not with SW? And that JW testifies in accordance with DB? And that PO testified that AA told her about it at the Crayfish party? LIES, ALL LIES, right? Everyone interviewed is a liar, I knew it! And all of the text messages being discussed in the interviews about the topic at hand which would back up or disprove their stories about what they were told and when, they’re all being suppressed by the police and the Swedish Supreme Court is complicit, right? Or maybe it’s the phone company that’s being controlled by the CIA here! Please, do go into more detail about how this all went down! Let me grab my tinfoil hat first.

    Because that makes so damned much more sense than someone accidentally typing a 1 instead of a 2, in a document with plenty of other typos.

    “2) all the text messages between the two women before they went to the police station in which they cooked all this up. George Galloway has stated he has some of those text messages in his possession”

    First, off, two things:

    1) If that was even true, that would be an even *more* massive breach of privacy on the part of Assange’s defense team than they’ve already done, and another great example of them being pure scumbags. YOU DON’T LEAK PERSONAL DATA ABOUT ALLEGED VICTIMS IN A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, PERIOD. It’s bad enough that they leaked a police report containing not only details of their sex lives, families, workplaces, information that could be used to figure out where they live, and an alleged victim’s email address.

    2) Great way to defend a misogynistic liar by reference to the guy who’s now basically the figurehead for misogyny and rape apologism in the UK, who has an even longer track record of lying. Really, Galloway has “secret” texts which he won’t show us, which are apparently so damning, but apparently two separate Swedish courts didn’t give a damn about in passing judgment against Assange? *Really*? I guess the Swedish Supreme Court is also infiltrated by the CIA! Is every court in Sweden on the take of the CIA? And every court in the UK too, apparently? Amazing, they went through all this effort and yet never bothered to tell the prosecutor that Assange was leaving the country when they were planning to interview him, or that he was fleeing to the Ecuadorian embassy instead of appealing to the ECHR as expected. But of course, I guess that’s typical for CIA Director Groucho Marx these days.

    Amazing how Assange’s defense team didn’t see fit to use this “damning evidence” in any of their three UK cases to try to bolster their (failed) malicious prosecution case. Amazing how all of this “damning” evidence only ends up in the hands of people like Murray and Galloway who can never be bothered to back up their claims, and never with any sort of credible source. “Hey, I’ve got this juicy tidbit that shows that the whole thing against Assange is a CIA plot! But nobody in any of the world’s tens of millions of credible newspapers would be interested in that. No, let’s give it only to Craig Murray or George Galloway! And tell them that, whatever you do, don’t do anything to actually prove what I told you!” Because that makes so much more sense.

    I remember reading about this same sort of stuff with the “birthers” in the last election. All of the “secret” proof that Obama was a gay Kenyan muslim, and all of the idiots who believed it.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, criminal evidence is evaluated in a court of law.

  • craig Post author

    Anonymouse

    Please keep on posting. I fear you have become so absorbed in all this that you don’t realise that the more minute detail you give, the more incredible the allegations seem to any reasonable person.

  • Anonymouse

    William Wallace,

    I have to love a debunking that doesn’t even try to debunk anything. Proof my bold assertion, my favorite.

    – Mouse

  • John Goss

    When I get an hour or two I’ll take a look at your Craig Murray is a liar link. One thing though before I read it I think I can see where you are coming from.

    And I would never refer to AA as a sexually-suggestive term like “the cute [AA]“.

    To any reasonable person Arbed’s use of the word ‘cute’ has no sexual connotations whatsoever. He quite obviously means cute in the sense of smart, or evasive, or sly. Are you trying to get Arbed tainted with the ‘sexual impropriety’ brush too?

  • Jose

    Miguel,

    So Mr. Murray… You don’t have proofs but you still spread your nonsense? You don’t have any idea of the consequences this has for a democracy like Ecuador’s, threaten by Correa’s populism.

    Are you saying that if Craig Murray comes across some secret knowledge of public interest through his friends in government, he should just shut up about it? I don’t think you understand what democracy is.

    I can understand skepticism of Craig’s claims. The sources are anonymous. But let’s apply Occam’s Razor: He probably does have friends in government, which is why he can’t just make stuff up.

    BTW, did Ecuador have democracy before Correa? Was that when, for about a decade, Ecuadorians got fed up with every new president after about a year or two, and threw them out? I guess the part where we threw them out was democracy, but not the rest. See, if you have leaders that largely represent the interests of the elites, and not the people by and large, that’s the opposite of democracy.

  • John Goss

    Sorry Göran Rudling for condensing your name to Göring. That’s not fair! However I’ve signed your long blog posting for you. And this time the captcha worked. So you have developed three personae to keep your one-person debate going, that of yourself, that of Já Þýðir Já (whatever that means) and Anonymouse. Well done! I notice that my comment is the only one on your latest blog. Perhaps you can create a few more personae and post a few comments to maintain interest. However, in this busy age, might I suggest shortening your blogs. There never was a case of rape to answer. Mr Craig Murray is not a liar. Only Marianne Ny and Claes Borgstrom are pursuing these outlandish claims, presumably because they have most to gain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8wrmtDkoLU

    WHich makes me ask a question others have asked before. Who’s paying you? By the way your new blog is no more convincing than your old blog.

  • Komodo

    Thought the real Göran Rudling gave a witness statement to the police criticising the legal basis for the charges.Is there another Göran Rudling? Or are we seeing Irmeli Kranz here? Either way it’s a single-issue, single entry blog containing enough errors to disqualify it completely from further interest.

    The famous condom – no DNA found = not evidence (whether due to Forensic’s incompetence or due to it being brand new) Throw it away. Irrelevant now.

  • Anonymouse

    John, Komodo: Your obsession with conspiracies is endearing. First I’m some random person you’ve been debating before, then Göran then Irmeli… I guess I’ll be Obama next, or maybe Hague? Hmm, John, where do you get time to post so many comments here – who’s paying you? 😉

    “So you have developed three personae to keep your one-person debate going, that of yourself, that of Já Þýðir Já (whatever that means) and Anonymouse.”

    Too bad nobody’s invented some sort of web tool that one can use to translate languages that they don’t understand. Someone like Google! Some sort of “Google Translate” program. But I guess that’s too far fetched.

    As a side note, I imagine Göran will be quite amused whenever he comes back to discover that he’s suddenly been secretly cloned. And that his clone disagrees with him about the condoms. Dang cloning machines, they never work right.

    “Either way it’s a single-issue, single entry blog containing enough errors to disqualify it completely from further interest.”

    Good to hear that saying “It’s wrong but I’m not going to say why and I’m going to pretend it just doesn’t exist” works. I hear that when you want to ignore complete rebutals of your arguments, it also helps to plug your ears and shout, “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA!!!”

  • Komodo

    No, my sweet little feminist, it’s because I can’t be arsed going through the random observations you have put up and exhaustively fact-checking every one. Unlike you, darling, I have a life.

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