Wikileaks 38


I spent a few hours with Julian today in the Ecuador Embassy. It was the first time I had seen him since moving back to Scotland, so it was good to catch up and a great deal to talk about.

We had some good ideas for future projects, on which you will be seeing more as things develop. You will be pleased to hear that Julian himself is optimistic and very sharp, with sense of humour surviving, although obviously this close confinement, with no access to fresh air and exercise whatsoever, is becoming very wearing. It seems to me impossible to argue that the response to Julian is not disproportionate, especially the ludicrous waste of money paying so many policemen to stand around doing nothing 24 hours a day. How would it hurt the British government to agree to a protocol for daily exercise? Their position is vindictive and inhumane in the extreme.

I had not realised that Julian had so much Scottish ancestry or quite so recently. After independence, he will definitely be entitled to a Scottish passport!


38 thoughts on “Wikileaks

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  • John Goss

    So pleased to hear you’ve got to see Julian. There has been a lot of optimism recently in the Assange legal camp. I have a suspicion that certain members of the prosecution team are looking for a face-saving way out of something which was blown totally out of proportion. One of the reasons I think this is because, as well as an agreement to question JA in the Ecuadorean Embassy, is because Reinfeldt is no longer prime minister. One of the prosecutors, Elisabeth Massi Fritz, had very strong connections with the Reinfeldt family. She put anti-Assange articles on her website which were inaccurate, and it is possible she put her name to correspondence she did not write.

    Sweden has gone from being one of the most progressive countries (SIPRI for example) to being a NATO supporter complicit in extradition and torture. Its image has been really tarnished of late and a lot of Swedes don’t like this. At least since the new government took over Sweden was the first country to recognise Palestine. So perhaps things are starting to change. Hope so For Julian Assange’s sake.

  • Republicofscotland

    It a pity,if we could somehow smuggle Julian Assange, across the border into Scotland, I’m confident Scots,would,stand up for him.

    Surely if we can smuggle the Stone of Destiny across the border,we can smuggle Mr Assange across the border.

    I’d love to see the look, on the face of the Westminster,and Whitehall,brigade, if it happened.

  • RobG

    How Scots can totally piss off the Americans: export Trident and import Assange.

    Ten out of ten for your bravery.

  • Republicofscotland

    Watching Scottish leaders debate,right now,Ruth Davidson,and Nicola Sturgeon,wearing striking red jackets.

    Bernard (the pons) Ponsonby holding a firm hand,Jim Murphy calling foodbanks to be abolished, after voting too impose a £30 billion public spending cut.

    Ruth Davidson proclaiming she’s proud of her role in the referendum.

  • Ishmael

    Thanks for the heads up, Good to know he’s still ok, if obliviously in a difficult spot. Solidarity.

  • Kempe

    ” I’d love to see the look, on the face of the Westminster,and Whitehall,brigade, if it happened. ”

    Not going to though is it? Anyway as good Europeans Independent Scotland would have to honour the EAW and pack him off to Sweden.

  • Frazer

    Did’nt know you were in London. We could have met up, but me and the boys were rather busy in a lift shaft in Hatton Gardens !

  • Republicofscotland

    Not going to though is it? Anyway as good Europeans Independent Scotland would have to honour the EAW and pack him off to Sweden.
    _____________________________________

    Hmm… Quite, They want to pack him off to Sweden,on some trumped up charge,where Mr Assange can be renditioned to the USA,for a spot of water boarding, and for the crime of telling the truth.

  • MBC

    Sorry Craig, no time for the guy and this ridiculous pantomime. Why doesn’t he face the music in Sweden and get it over with. The case will likely fall apart, there’s probably nothing to it. They won’t extradite him to the US. What kind of country does he think Sweden is?

  • Donald Urquhart

    A crowd of over a thousand Julian lookalikes, in wigs and false beards, all dressed the same.

    We storm the embassy and 1001 of us leave. He high tales it to the French Consulate in Edinburgh which has a lovely garden.

    No extradition treaty with America post independence….. problem solved!

  • Daniel

    “Sorry Craig, no time for the guy and this ridiculous pantomime. Why doesn’t he face the music in Sweden and get it over with. The case will likely fall apart, there’s probably nothing to it. They won’t extradite him to the US. What kind of country does he think Sweden is?”

    If you were in his position would you willingly “face the music”?

  • Daniel

    “By the way, we live in interesting times, when the whole balance of power in the Mediterranean may be about to shift”.

    Indeed. The reaction of Syriza was, in my view, inevitable given Merkel’s intransigence particularly after the concessions Tsipras put on the table. The conditions of the IMF were totally unreasonable and I think Greece has been left with no alternative other than to form new relations with Russia.

    Ultimately, any concessions towards Greece by Germany would have been regarded by the EU as ideological in nature and therefore would have provided a possible ‘green light’ for the other nations comprising the PIGS, and even possibly further afield, to argue for the adoption of a new Keynesian economic model as the precursor for stimulating growth.

    It seems to me that from the outset, this was always about ideology as opposed to economic pragmatism.

  • lysias

    The New York Times doesn’t like Tsipras’s move. Greece Should Be Wary of Mr. Putin. They say Russia can’t afford to give much financial aid to Greece, but at the same time they say that the EU sanctions against Russia will soon lapse if Greece doesn’t go along with them. Seems to me Greece’s vote against the sanctions would be worth quite a lot of money to Russia.

  • AAMVN

    It’s all gone very quiet since the announcement the Swedish plod were finally willing to question Assange in London. Any update on their schedule?

    I’m not expecting this to end Julian’s troubles – far from it – but it is a necessary step in a long process.

  • AAMVN

    BTW – I’m half Scottish on my mother’s side – would I be entitled to a Scottish passport?

  • Bena

    One thing that needs to be borne in mind when visiting Julian Assange – and perhaps the most stressful thing for Assange himself – is that the British have almost certainly successfully bugged the Embassy. That means that anything that there is said is known by the security services.

    I don’t know how successful whispering is while loud music plays – but still it must be hard to endure a complete lack of privacy for three years.

  • Mary

    VIDEO: Collateral Murder – Iraq
    Published by BlackCatte
    April 8, 2015

    Given the spate of new US aggression in Syria and Yemen it’s a good time to rescue the recent past from the Memory Hole So let’s revisit this famous video footage obtained by Wikileaks, from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. The fluoridated, de-sensitised young scions of American Exceptionalsim doing this murder can be heard conversing. It’s too obvious that for them this virtual, virtually risk-free “war” is just a cool upgrade of Call of Duty.

    http://offguardian.org/2015/04/08/video-collateral-murder-iraq/

  • craig Post author

    MBC

    Sexual assault trials in Sweden are held almost entirely in secret. The evidence is 100% given in secret. Given that the whole thing is a ludicrous set-up that doesn’t survive a minute’s scrutiny, it is plain this has nothing to do with justice.

    Sweden has never refused one single extradition request from the US. Even the UK refuses about 10%.

    AAMVN

    It seems that offer was a purely tactical move, designed to make the prosecutor look less unreasonable before the Swedish supreme court. No genuine intention to do it.

  • John Goss

    “It seems that offer was a purely tactical move, designed to make the prosecutor look less unreasonable before the Swedish supreme court. No genuine intention to do it.”

    So does that mean this is wrong?

    “In March 2015, Marianne Ny indicated that she would allow Assange to be interviewed in London. The interview will be conducted by a deputy prosecutor, Ingrid Isgren, as well as a police investigator.”
    (Source Wikipedia, its source Guardian).

    I notice there has been no further mention of this since March 13 this year. Have the Yanks put pressure on the Swedish prosecution service not to proceed, knowing he has no case to answer?

  • craig Post author

    John

    That is essentially propaganda. The prosecutor has had contact with Assange’s team about a possible interview, but setting out a whole raft of very difficult preconditions evidently designed to provoke a rejection.

  • AAMVN

    It all did seem a bit too good to be true. I was suspicious they were not going to go through with it. I expected them to hold the interviews and then say they still wanted to proceed. But making conditions is a better move. They can represent it as all Assange’s fault and the MSM will just swallow their line.

  • YouKnowMyName

    @Bena

    ‘have almost certainly successfully bugged the Embassy’ Yes, either by drilling 99.9% through the walls from the neighbouring properties and/or CW or pulsed infra-red/UV lasers focussed on the windows/tea-cups/mirrors (hard surfaces in general) inside the embassy, whose subtle vibrations can modulate the return back-scatter of the laser (laser Doppler vibrometer)

    ‘I don’t know how successful whispering is while loud music plays – but still it must be hard to endure a complete lack of privacy for three years.’

    the loud music can be simply digitally removed, unless it’s a live Mariachi band, need a random pink noise generator, such as an unpredictable live Mariachi band or a highland piper or two (Alastair Campbell would do – according to http://www.asolohighlandpiper.co.uk/army.htm reference 4)

    and I think we’re now realising that we’ve all been enduring a complete lack of privacy for the last ‘n’ years, though Julian is one of the most extreme cases of ‘selected’ ‘person of interest’ that we have to-date, the rest of us, exclusing secret policemen & aristos, have similarly lost the ephemeral privacy that we thought was a civil and legal right. eSpying is the same as physical spying, it fills the same databases, informs the same ‘corrective’ services.

    The big worry I have, as we transit eventually to a mostly online digital life, with eVoting (like in Estonia), eGovernment portals for accessing services, eNHS, eInsurance – is that the old rule books which offered some balance between privacy & security have been torn to shreds with eSpying.

  • John Goss

    Thanks Craig for the additional information.

    I am under the impression that the EAW is due to expire soon. The whole frame-up from the start has been a mess for Sweden’s reputation as well as for Assange. His own government has really let him down.

    We, Rafik Saley and Okoth Osewe in Sweden, wrote to Bob Carr when he was minister of foreign affairs regarding the lack of support for Julian Assange. At that time Julie Bishop was also raising questions about JA not getting fair treatment. We also questioned why the Australian government had approved Sven-Olof Petersson to be Sweden’s ambassador to Australia when it is known that he approved rendition and torture. When julie Bishop became minister of foreign affairs we had high hopes and wrote to her too. The letters we received from the Australian foreign office were almost identical in content and briefly amounted to a denial that he was being treated differently from other nationals.

    When Bob Carr was replaced he published diaries of his time in office which my colleague said contained details that amounted to a virtual confession out of office that Assange had not received the consular support he should have done since Carr replaced Rudd and which this blog confirms.

    http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/05/19/Bob-Carr-Julian-Assange.aspx?COLLCC=3785025669&

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