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Wikileaks' Assange Begins Extradition Battle

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the let-the-battle-begin dept.

The Internet 479

arisvega writes "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has begun his court battle against extradition from the UK to Sweden. He faces allegations of sexual assault against two women, which he denies. Mr Assange, 39, argues Swedish prosecutors had no right to issue a warrant for his arrest because he has not yet been charged with any offences. At the extradition hearing, in London's Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, his lawyers are also challenging the move on human rights grounds. Mr Assange's legal team, led by Geoffrey Robertson QC, argues that if their client is forced to return to Sweden he could be extradited to the US, or even Guantanamo Bay, to face separate charges relating to the publication of secret documents by Wikileaks."

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What does this say... (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127436)

or even Guantanamo Bay

I think this line alone is a commentary on both the hyperbole used by his lawyers and the sad state of the US reputation in Europe.

Re:What does this say... (5, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127478)

Why do you think it is that ridiculous that someone might think the US would send an enemy to Guantanamo?

Re:What does this say... (5, Interesting)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127796)

I'd say that the existence of the Guantanamo Bay facility (set up outside U.S. soil to avoid the law) and the fact that people can arbitrarily be sent there to rot for years without trial speaks volumes about the current commitment of the United States Government to the ideals on which it was founded. In my youth the place to be feared was the Soviet Gulag. Now people fear Guantanamo Bay. I weep for what the government that represents this country has become, and am sad that my father (Vietnam vet) and his father (WW2 vet and survivor of the Bataan Death March) fought in vain for a government that has no respect for the ideas that brought it into existence. What the hell happened?

Re:What does this say... (5, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127856)

I want to know why Obama hasn't closed the damn place yet. One of the major reasons I voted democratic in the last presidential election was to put an end to this sort of thing.

Re:What does this say... (5, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127940)

Agreed. The obvious answer is that there is some massive resistance from within the government bureaucracy that is making it a difficult task. Or he learned something after taking office and getting "commander-in-chief" security clearance that changed his mind. I'm inclined to think that it's just the former.

Re:What does this say... (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128022)

Agreed. The obvious answer is that there is some massive resistance from within the government bureaucracy that is making it a difficult task. Or he learned something after taking office and getting "commander-in-chief" security clearance that changed his mind. I'm inclined to think that it's just the former.

Option 3: He was always a devious snake and never intended to live up to his campaign promises, just like every other politician.

Re:What does this say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127968)

So then... you're one of the six people that actually believed him?

Re:What does this say... (5, Informative)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128026)

I want to know why Obama hasn't closed the damn place yet. One of the major reasons I voted democratic in the last presidential election was to put an end to this sort of thing.

Because Obama is not the dictator of the United States but must faithfully execute[1] the laws passed by the Congress when they are within the power of Congress to regulate. As it happens, Congress has the explicit power to determine what happens to captures[2] during a time of war. So blaming Obama here is somewhat ridiculous as he is simply not in an office charged with

So far, Congress has forbidden the Executive from moving detainees from Guantanamo[3,4] by huge supermajority votes (90-6 in the Senate, for instance). The actual statutory language[5] is quite clear (quoted below). So if you want Obama to close Gitmo then you are essentially asking him to ask in open defiance of the law.

SEC. 1032. PROHIBITION ON THE USE OF FUNDS FOR THE TRANSFER OR RELEASE OF INDIVIDUALS DETAINED AT UNITED STATES NAVAL STATION, GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA.

None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act for fiscal year 2011 may be used to transfer, release, or assist in the transfer or release to or within the United States, its territories, or possessions of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or any other detainee who--
(1) is not a United States citizen or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States; and
(2) is or was held on or after January 20, 2009, at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the Department of Defense.

[1] Article II, Section 1.
[2] Article I, Section 8.
[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/us/politics/21detain.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all [nytimes.com]
[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/us/politics/23gitmo.html [nytimes.com]
[5] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:5:./temp/~c111aSU9NC [loc.gov] ::

Re:What does this say... (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128100)

He made sort of a halfhearted attempt at it toward the beginning of his presidency, but dropped it after a huge public outcry about the possibility of moving any of the prisoners to facilities in the mainland US. It didn't help that very few Congresspeople wanted to openly support the idea of having terrorists (even suspected terrorists) housed in prisons in their districts.

There was also a lot of fear about what would happen if some of these people were given fair trials and actually found innocent. It was felt even the possibility of such a thing was too politically dangerous to take chances with.

It was one of the first of many examples of this president preferring to alienate his base in order to maintain the naive hope that he could bridge the political divide in this country.

Re:What does this say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127950)

What happened is you are leaving the wool over your eyes. Gitmo was not "set up outside U.S. soil to avoid the law". The laws of the U.S. do not end at US borders, and even if they did Guantanamo Bay is a US Military base, which legally counts as US soil. So the Gitmo prison is on U.S. soil.

What the Gitmo prison is is a military prison. It follows military laws, which are different than civilian laws and incorporate a whole variety of treaties such as the Geneva Conventions. I am personally unaware of anyone being sent there under what you are describing; every person sent there was either captured on the battlefield or in the process of a terrorist action, and the argument made by the various administrations involved was that these were enemy combatants and subject to military law, not civil law. To compare the U.S. to Soviet Gulag is extremely pretenious, as the USSR was known for taking political opponents on trumped up charges in the middle of the night and sending them to the Gulag. That is not what Gitmo is about.

The so-called black sites is another story entirely, and more in line with your example. But again, that had more to do with foreigners, not US Citizens. I'm not a huge supporter of either location, but you do damage to the argument against them when you wildly exaggerate the reality of the situation.

Re:What does this say... (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128058)

You are forgetting the german citizen that was kidnapped in germany and sent to gitmo.

Re:What does this say... (1, Insightful)

aynoknman (1071612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127526)

or even Guantanamo Bay

I think this line alone is a commentary on both the hyperbole used by his lawyers and the sad state of the US reputation in Europe.

Why do you think it is only in Europe that US reputation has suffered as a result of its actions over the past decade?

Re:What does this say... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127590)

We will annihilate you. We're #1.

Re:What does this say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35128080)

or even Guantanamo Bay

I think this line alone is a commentary on both the hyperbole used by his lawyers and the sad state of the US reputation in Europe.

Why do you think it is only in Europe that US reputation has suffered as a result of its actions over the past decade?

I see. It is OK for American contractors to hire boys as prostitutes. It is most definitely NOT ok to tell the world about it.

Re:What does this say... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127610)

I think this line alone is a commentary on both the hyperbole used by his lawyers and the sad state of the US reputation in Europe.

ORLY? When the Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] is saying that he should be tried under the Espionage Act ... I don't think Guantanamo is exactly a big huge stretch to imagine.

Maybe that reputation is based on things like the CIA kidnapping people [msn.com] in foreign countries to be whisked away to "unofficial" places?

Re:What does this say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127980)

Despite your WSJ links being an op-ed, it is rather disturbing that MSM has jumped on the 'burn the heretic' bandwagon. Or, perhaps it me expecting that the truth should prevail when it comes to the press.

/B. Franklin is rolling in his grave

Re:What does this say... (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127630)

>>>sad state of the US reputation in Europe.

Perhaps the U.S. should stop acting like the United Socialist States of America (USSR... I mean, A). Of course if I believe the words coming out of Nigel Firage and Daniel Hannan, the E.U. is headed down the same path. (If I believed...)

Re:What does this say... (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127942)

There are multiple precedences where people were kidnapped from Europe and sent to both Guantanamo and Egypt/etc for torture and "vanishing".

It was called "extraordinary rendition".

Indeed, G. Bush might have been arrested (3, Insightful)

Framboise (521772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127962)

The naive ex-president wanted to participate to a gala evening in Geneva, Switzerland, on Feb. 12th. Under the risk of being arrested for violation of international treaties about torture, his visit has been canceled today.

The US media like to give as motive threats of protesters...

 

Re:What does this say... (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128024)

It's not about mere reputation, it's about what the US has actually become when it comes to the treatment of some prisoners. It's not just that the Europeans have a bad impression of the US - the real problem is that that bad impression is accurate. If you doubt that, how about we waterboard you until you change your mind?

Re:What does this say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35128028)

The US has done enough wrong to deserve a bad reputation
around the entire world, not just in Europe, bud.

1) Wars against countries which did not attack the US.

2) Use of torture.

2)a) Use of mercenaries to circumvent various prohibitions
              of the Geneva Convention.

3) Warrant-less wiretapping against its own citizens.

If you actually believe the US doesn't deserve a bad reputation for its conduct,
you are either not reading the news or you are a clueless fool. And in case you are
wondering, I am American and what my country has become turns my stomach.
( and for you "love it or leave it" rednecks in the audience, I am seriously considering
leaving, so I can watch it all collapse from afar ).

Re:What does this say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35128062)

or even Guantanamo Bay

I think this line alone is a commentary on both the hyperbole used by his lawyers and the sad state of the US reputation in Europe.

I don't think this is hyperbole at all. Sweden asked him to be extradited there without even charging him with a crime first. The US seems to be gearing up to charge him with a more serious crime. According to the US government's position, he committed a crime that is a breach of national security.

He seems like he would be a good person for intelligence services to interrogate. He has no doubt been contacted by many different intelligence services. Or, if I were a foreign intelligence service, I would try to bribe/blackmail him into releasing the stuff to me first, but more importantly, reveal the sources of leaks so I could go to them and groom them as spies. So, I definitely think Guantanamo is on the table.
             

Eh (1)

mdphdscddlitt (1990796) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127456)

First of all, he's not going to get sent to Guantanamo Bay.
Do you have any idea how big of a shit-storm would result from the US trying to press charges? It's common knowledge that the man didn't even commit a crime (minus whatever might have happened with those two women). He's just realized that due process doesn't apply to celebrities, and in this case it's not to his advantage.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127546)

He's just realized that due process doesn't apply to celebrities,

Celebrities are far more likely to get due process, because people are willing to expend resources ensuring it for them. Poor random nobodies get the railroad.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127596)

No, it's not common knowledge whether or not he committed a crime. If Manning acted entirely on his own procuring the data and then supplied it to Wikileaks, then yes, it would be clear that Assange committed no crime. However, if Assange actively encouraged Manning to steal classified information, then he very well may be guilty of espionage. These facts are not yet 100% clear since no one knows what it is Manning is saying to investigators.

Re:Eh (1, Troll)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127608)

Nothing Manning is saying to prosecutors should be allowed into a court of law. He is currently being tortured, so his testimony is invalid.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127642)

Being held in solitary confinement is not torture.

Re:Eh (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127722)

That is not the only thing we are doing to him, but yes, being held in solitary for long enough is definitely considered torture as it can lead to lasting psychological damage.

Sarcasm? I hope? (2)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127764)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solitary_confinement [wikipedia.org]
Solitary confinement is a punishment or special form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is denied contact with any other persons, though often with the exception of members of prison staff. It is considered by some a form of psychological torture.[1] It is usually cited as an additional measure of protection from the criminal.

It is also used as a form of protective custody and to implement a suicide watch.

Solitary confinement is colloquially referred to in American English as the 'hole', 'lockdown', the 'SHU' (pronounced 'shoe') - an acronym for security housing unit, or the 'pound'; and in British English as the 'block' or the 'cooler'.[2][3]

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127752)

Citation?

People keep saying this but just because the guy is in solitary doesn't mean he is being tortured. If you consider that the torture then we torture lots of people in prisons now. Keeping the guy in solitary is most likely partly for his own safety so he isn't part of the general prison population, especially if those prisoners see him as a traitor.

While Manning hasn't had his case go to trial yet (AFAIK) holding a suspected traitor in solitary seems somewhat prudent.

Is it me (4, Insightful)

jerep (794296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127462)

Is it me or this guy gets all the attention that should instead be devoted to the leaks' content? I bet most people following assange' ascention to stardom don't even read wikileaks.

Re:Is it me (3, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127524)

It's the old song and dance

"Hey look! A guy who started a website for SHARING SECRETS! Never mind the secrets over there..."

Re:Is it me (1, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127534)

Well That and so far his defense is Swedish law is unfair and not english or Australian law and therefore he won't get a fair trial. At least he stopped trying to blame the USA for the case.

If you don't like the laws of the country don't visit it. Ignorance of the law is never innocence.

Rape laws are very confusing, you have some places where it isn't rape unless you can get the men who are doing the raping to testify for you. To places like sweden where the woman is almost always right.

He left with their agreement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127602)

He left with their agreement. The laws they want to extradite him on are nonexistent in the UK and therefore there is no cause to extradite. It's fairly clear and doesn't have anything to do with "If you don't like the laws of the country don't visit it" or "Ignorance of the law is never innocence." unless you take that last one as the Sweden's legal system not knowing the law...

Re:Is it me (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127606)

Which is the problem. They didn't have enough evidence to charge him when he was in the country, but then after he left they changed their mind. Considering that there originally wasn't enough evidence to justify having him in for questioning, I don't think that you can really assume that this is going to be a fair trial. At this point even if he is guilty, any guilty verdict is going to look politically motivated because the process has been so botched.

Re:Is it me (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127736)

Be sure to catch "How I Avoided Extradition" on newly rebranded "The WL".

Now with more hype, more editing, and more spin! We've taken the best of the Sci-Fi to Syfy transition and applied it to your favorite leaks!

Re:Is it me (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127750)

The NY Times spent a few weeks going over the leaks' content, with the leaks as the front page story quite often. I suspect other respectable outlets did the same. The problem is more that most people get their news from cable TV, where real news always takes second billing to scandals, shootings, and abductions of pretty white girls.

In fact, just to see how bad it was, I went over to CNN's website, where the title of this story is "Could Assange end up in Gitmo?" Typical of tabloid journalism, they take some outrageous and shocking headline, phrase it as a question (so that they can't be proven wrong), and rack up the page views. At least CNN gives the story a reasonably high booking. MSNBC is running with "Is Facebook the new Craigslist for hookers?" (there's that outrageous question again). And Fox's top story is "Did Google Exec Spark Egypt Revolt?" (yet another question, this time with an almost farcical suggestion).

Re:Is it me (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127956)

cable TV, where real news always takes second billing to scandals

I thought the whole point of wikileaks was to leak scandals?

Re:Is it me (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127888)

Is it me or this guy gets all the attention that should instead be devoted to the leaks' content?

It's just the US.

Seriously, go read a major European paper. Bonus points if you read a language other than English. In Europe they are giving a lot more coverage to the leaks than you will find in the comparatively uber-conservative, pro-establishment New York Times.

Re:Is it me (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128068)

It's not just you. It's his point. If he cared about the leaks more than the attention he'd have acceded to his Wikileaks' cohorts' requests and stepped down a long time ago.

Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (3, Interesting)

inpher (1788434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127466)

Sweden has laws that are similar to those in the UK, so I see very little extra risk for Assange to be extradited to USA if he is transferred or travels to Sweden. I would think that staying in a NATO member (like UK) would be more of a risk. Extradition for Criminal Offences [sweden.gov.se] in Sweden:

Extradition is permitted, provided that the act for which extradition is requested is equivalent to a crime that is punishable under Swedish law by imprisonment for at least one year. [...] Extradition may not be granted for military or political offences. Nor may extradition be granted if there is reason to fear that the person whose extradition is requested runs a risk - on account of his or her ethnic origins, membership of a particular social group or religious or political beliefs - of being subjected to persecution threatening his or her life or freedom, or is serious in some other respect. [...] Furthermore, nor may the person who is extradited be sentenced to death.

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127574)

The question is whether Sweden or the United Kingdom is more likely to actually follow their laws about extradition to the US in this case.

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127586)

Since cablegate surfaced, Sweden has pretty much been recognized globally as a NATO-member-in-disguise, Sweden exports sniffed intelligence data to US and even participates in military exercises with US, UK and a host of other NATO members. The bonds between the current Swedish government and the US are closer than they would have us believe.

The Swedish population in general would disagree, but I'm a Swede and I'm convinced that no -- Assange would not get a fair trial. He'd get the same kind of trial as the Pirate Bay lads, one that is decided in advance by powerful political forces. If extradited to Sweden, he'd be in Guantanamo within a month.

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127660)

Question why do people care if Sweden is a NATO-member-in-disguise? Just wondering

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128018)

Same reason why you would care if US was USSR in disguise.

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1, Informative)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127672)

Umm , I hate to point this out to you , but the UK has been a member of NATO for decades and the UK didn't extradite him to the US.

But why let the facts get in the way of some cliched left wing rant eh?

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127808)

How was the AC's post "left wing?" What about it was childish,or a rant? I don't think that AC was claiming that any NATO member would allow Assange's extradition. I think they were claiming Sweden's close ties to the US means that Sweden would allow Assange to be extradited.

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128038)

The bonds between the current Swedish government and the US are closer than they would have us believe.

As opposed to the tension, lack of courtesy, and frigid character of the communications that characterize US-UK relations, right?

If the US hasn't asked the UK to extradite him directly, what line of reasoning[1] can you suggest that would make it LIKELY for the US to wait until he's in Sweden to ask for extradition, at which point both the US and Sweden would risk ruining their relations with the UK?

[1] And here, the preference is for a line of reasoning that doesn't sound like batshit-insane conspiracy theorizing.

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (5, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127638)

Sweden has laws that are similar to those in the UK, so I see very little extra risk for Assange to be extradited to USA if he is transferred or travels to Sweden.

Factions of the Swedish government have been secretly and illegally collaborating with the United States intelligence agencies as exposed by Wikileaks itself. Thus, the laws on record may not be as important as you think. Second, politically speaking it would be difficult for the UK to ship a member of the commonwealth to the US under questionable legal circumstances, given the US's human rights record at the moment. The people that actually vote for the UK politicians would probably view that as just a little too close to home, as in making them afraid they too could be shipped away to be tortured. This would get the UK politicians kicked out of office.

On the other hand, if the UK were to ship him to Sweden to face unrelated charges, then the Swedish were to extradite him (legally or illegally) then the UK politicians could claim they were duped and likely keep their jobs. Swedish politicians would be seen extraditing a foreigner messed up with intelligence agencies and potential criminal acts and again, probably keep their jobs.

All of this is, of course, exceedingly unlikely, but that doesn't mean it is not possible. The argument that shipping him to Sweden could actually result in him being taken illegally by US intelligence, held outside the US, but by US agents, and denied basic human rights. This is the bed the US made and now we must sleep in it a while. There was no real risk in throwing the Guantanamo prisoners into our federal prisons and prosecuting them (aside from political risk). It was all part of the fear-mongering designed as electoral ploys. We threw away any pretense of honor and justice as principals of our government and now we are openly treated as treacherous and dishonorable and unable to be trusted to uphold even the most basic human rights according to treaties we helped write.

Is Julian Assange taking advantage of the US's shitty world image? Most likely. Who's to blame for this? We are, for giving his lawyers so much ammunition.

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127960)

Not sure I follow how the UK politicians could claim to be duped and not risk too much negative exposure but the Swedish could? Also, I am reminded of the Gary McKinnon [wikipedia.org] case.

Re:Sweden and United Kingdom has similar laws (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128086)

He went to Sweden to avoid being extradited to the US.

The legal system as yet has not even begun to deal with his crimes re the leaks.

This is about his barbaric treatment of women. And it's apparent he's very afraid of having to answer any more questions about it.

Hopefully he'll be extradited (0, Flamebait)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127488)

Only so that this gold plated hypocrite and his travelling circus become someone else's problem rather than wasting police and court time in the UK any longer. There is zero chance of the swedes extraditing him - if there was a good enough case the US would have applied to the UK for this - so his teenage fanboys can relax.

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127578)

+1 interesting (not troll)

Why do you think Assange is a hypocrite? Don't you think We the People have a right to know what our taxpayer dollars are paying for (such as Hillary stealing credit card numbers from visiting foreign dignitaries). I certainly do. I don't understand your 1-minute of hate.

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127612)

He's a hypocrite because he's quite happy to throw out private government files into the public domain but when it comes to details about himself he'd rather keep quiet about its a different story. Google about his current spat with The Guardian newspaper.

He's someone who's obviously not prepared to eat your his dogfood and frankly to me he comes over as a petulant childish authority baiter who'll potentially risk people lives just so he can feel better about himself by sticking it to the man.

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127654)

Wow. You really can't understand the difference between the secrets of a democratic government, and an individual citizen? How would releasing data about an individual help Wikileaks reach its stated goals?

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127984)

Releasing the details of the investigation against him would help prove or disprove whether or not his investigation is being handled properly. So, why didn't he release the evidence against him? In most courts, this would be provided to him so he could prepare his defense. Maybe it would be illegal to release it or make Assange look bad. Hmmm...

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128040)

Releasing the evidence against you can result in a mistrial, as many courts look on it as an attempt to circumvent their authority to try a case in the public media. Why would he do that?

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127670)

There's a difference between abuse of secrecy by corporations/governments and the privacy of private citizens.

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127744)

I would hope that most people would see there's a difference between state secrecy and personal privacy. The two should not be equivalent.
What I do in private is not the government's business. What my government does in private certainly is my business.

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127636)

Hypocrite? If you're going to make that sort of insinuation you had better provide some sort of a citation. Assange is hardly a saint, but you really can't say that he hasn't towed the line and paid for his beliefs. He offered to come in for questioning while he was in Sweden and asked permission before he left. He's releasing leaks as he has the resources to, and those resources are harder and harder to get due to various dubious actions by money processors.

Re:Hopefully he'll be extradited (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127706)

Look, let's compromise. One side wants him extradited to the US, the other doesn't. So let's split the difference and drop him in the middle of the Atlantic.

Guantanamo (5, Insightful)

kenrblan (1388237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127498)

If the US were trying to extradite Assange to put him in Guantanamo, why would there be a need to wait on his appearance in Sweden. The UK is just as likely to allow that extradition as Sweden. His lawyers have come up with an excellent straw man.

Re:Guantanamo (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127618)

I have no idea how Assange's lawyers think this is going to work. They're presumably smart people who understand the law but the obvious counter to this is that the argument is completely beside the point since nobody is even talking about extradition to the US.

My only guess is that they see the extradition to Sweden as inevitable (which seems odd), and want to make sure that the Swedish prosecutors throw in a load of unnecessary agreements not to extradite him to the US.

News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127508)

Hey, remember the old days when slashdot was a site about Linux, tech and nerds for nerds (like the tagline said)??

I barely do these days. No its seems its wikileaks tripe, and other left wing political ramblings.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127566)

Pray tell, what about wikileaks is "left wing?"

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127644)

The fact that the leftists are celebrating him as a hero, when his goal was solely and entirely to damage the US. Hatred of the US, and believing that the US deserves to get knocked down a peg, are hallmark characteristics of the US liberal community

Re:News For Nerds (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127696)

Are all "leftists" celebrating him? Are people of other political leanings not celebrating? Why do you feel that it is Wikileaks goal to damage the US? Why do you think liberals want to "knock the US down a peg?"

Re:News For Nerds (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127850)

Your view of the left is completely inaccurate. I am on the "left" and I am a hardcore American Patriot. I believe that we are the greatest nation on earth, but that we have fallen a long way and have been overcome by corruption. We don't need to be knocked down a peg, we need to stand up and set the bar for a higher ethical standard. Exposing and undermining the dishonesty and secrecy of the corruption in the US is the first step in purging that corruption and restoring the honor and respect of our great nation.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

thehostiles (1659283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127986)

Wow, if I had mod points, I'd mod troll.
Your local "liberal community" must be pretty odd. Leftism is about a community based country rather than a corporate based country.

Additionally, US leftism is actually fairly right-wing. Central at most.
You're defining anarchism and terrorism by the looks of it. Though anarchism is the extreme left, if you wanted to characterize left as anarchic, you'd best be prepared to accept that fascism is right.

More prevalent and socially acceptible examples of leftism are best exemplified by such people as Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, the late Pope Jean Paul and The Dali Lama.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127614)

It's been a steady spiral into what would be common denominator areas for quite a few years. But, then again, you'd have to define what 'news for nerds' is. Some nerds care about this kind of stuff.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127628)

Trite not Tripe

Good luck (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127562)

I hope he stays in either UK or Sweden and never gets escorted to US. If you ask me, last president in charge there was Bill Clinton and I don't know who is in charge since then.

Re:Good luck (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127892)

What makes you think Bill Clinton was in charge? About the only evidence I see of that was the ongoing effort to bring him down using a sex scandal.

Why extradited to the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127572)

if their client is forced to return to Sweden he could be extradited to the US

Why would they think that? Do they think he did something wrong?

Re:Why extradited to the US? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127674)

if their client is forced to return to Sweden he could be extradited to the US Why would they think that? Do they think he did something wrong?

What an odd question. Why would you think you'd have to do something wrong to be secretly extradited to the US and locked away and denied due process? That certainly hasn't been the case in the past.

Re:Why extradited to the US? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127700)

Why would they think that? Do they think he did something wrong?

Yes, he inconvenienced the US government without hiding his identity to prevent retaliation. This is generally regarded as a bad move.

Why be afraid of Sweden? (3, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127598)

Although I'm sadly perfectly prepared to believe that the two people in Sweden may have been 'encouraged' to make their claims, I'm not sure that Swedish extradition conditions are more defavourable to Assange than those of the UK. Remember this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NatWest_Three [wikipedia.org]

Assange does seem to have a point; if he is not (yet) subject to formal charges, why should he be forced to return to Sweden for questioning?

So a computer geek walks into a bar ... (2, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127648)

... and some chick asks him what he does for a living. He answers, "I'm a computer geek." She replies, "Oh, wow, that turns me on! Go to the restroom and get some condoms, and then we'll go back to my place!" If any Slashdotter posted something like that, the responses would be, "Yeah, right, in your dreams!"

So then three days later, he goes to another bar, and a different chick hits on him. The whole story seems quite apocryphal.

If this story is true, it sounds like Assange must be as charming as George Clooney and must be a skilled martial artist with nunchucks, which he needs to beat back the women folk.

I speculate that it went down like this:

CIA boss: "This WikiLeaks guy has really shoved a weed up our ass. What can we do?"

CIA lackey: "Oh, we have a pile of Hawaiian shellfish poison hidden in the cellar! If we prick him with a needle of that stuff, he will be dead before he hits the ground!"

CIA boss: "Hmmm. That sounds too drastic, and would raise suspicions. Can't we deck him with a honey trap?"

CIA lackey: "I'll call Stockholm."

Re:So a computer geek walks into a bar ... (1)

RattFink (93631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127812)

Assange had two things going for him that many computer geeks do not. The first he seems very idealistic, there are a type of woman who is attracted to that. Secondly he has some degree of fame, something many women also find desirable. Not to mention that putting himself in the spot lite like he does requires some degree of self-confidence, something almost all women find attractive.

Of course that doesn't rule out your theory, but the idea that two women would come on to him probably isn't that surprising.

Re:So a computer geek walks into a bar ... (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127878)

Not to mention that the girls were politically active liberals and basically his groupies before he even entered the country. It's not very often you can get internationally famous free speech activists into your home after all.

Re:So a computer geek walks into a bar ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127902)

Go and google assange accuser cia. There is a suspicion that at least one of the accusers was hired by the CIA.

Re:So a computer geek walks into a bar ... (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128008)

Can't find any sources other than speculative blog posts from semi-anonymous folks who does not quote or link their sources. Can you provide links?

Re:So a computer geek walks into a bar ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127830)

My understanding is that these weren't chicks he met in a bar. One of them was hosting him for a talk he was giving at her workplace. The other I believe was attending the conference (though I could be wrong about that), and AFAIK also knew of him as the WikiLeaks guy.

So, these were geek girls.

Re:So a computer geek walks into a bar ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127836)

It was actually more like this:
Assange: "I am a famous freedom fighter who dresses sharp, makes money, has a perfect self esteem smiles and knows my way around the world"
Socialist girls: "We love that!"
Assange: "Let's get it on!"
Girl 1: "Ok, but only if you wear protection"
*condom breaks*
Girl 1: "Stop!"
Assange: "No!"

Re:So a computer geek walks into a bar ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35128000)

It wasn't even a "No!" but rather "Huh, what, I just finished."

Sweden should be at least as safe (1)

judoguy (534886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127652)

I'd be really surprised to find out that the UK was more resistant to US pressure than Sweden.

I don't care anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127666)

I find more and more that I don't care anymore about wikileaks.

From the information that has come from that site, hype has been the biggest impact. The information that has been released has not been bad enough for much to happen

Journalists getting killed? Yup, its a war zone and they were walking with people who had guns and were known terrorists. Guess what, you have a chance in a war zone to die, it happened. Sucks, but true.

Telegrams between countries talking bout each other? Yup, and it turned out to be perhaps just as entertaining as soap operas. It read like any high school social order, and in the end it means nothing.

The bank information and Swiss bank account info would be interesting to quite a few people. What would happen though is the rich would pay money, and that would be it until the next leak.

Seriously... the only thing affected by all this is time and money, nothing else. In fact, I dare say thats what secrets do, they cut corners and prevent monetary retribution. Then once found, "whoops, mah bad... let me slip you a few million to make it go away".

Appearances are reality, sorta (1)

AmericanBlarney (1098141) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127738)

I don't think he could make himself look guiltily if he tried. When you resort to objecting extradition to a neutral country because you might end up in Guantanamo, you look like hi're grasping at straws because you're guilty, whether or not it's try. It would be one thing if he were being sent to Poland or another country who was actually involved in that stuff, but Sweden? C'mon....

We can't extradite him because... (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127770)

then he might be extradited. Doesn't that indicate that the proper place for this argument would be any future extradition hearing in Sweden?

Re:We can't extradite him because... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127936)

No. According to the European extradition treaty if the suspicion of a secondary extradition to a state not covered by the treaty (here: the USA) exists, and if the consequences of said suspicion could be much more dire than the extradition to the treaty member state, extradition is prohibited.
This clause had been entered into the treaty to stop people from getting extradited to dictatorships through these kind of means.
Of course, Sweden and Swedish law are all way above any kind of criticism. I mean, Karl Rove is only the advisor of the minister of Justice there, what could possibly go wrong for Assange?

Re:We can't extradite him because... (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128096)

We can't extradite him because... then he might be extradited. Doesn't that indicate that the proper place for this argument would be any future extradition hearing in Sweden?

No. One of the considerations of an extradition hearing is the human rights protected by the country to which he would be extradited. Many countries, for example, have the right to life enshrined in the legal system and so refuse to extradite anyone to a country where they might be executed (like the US) if the crime they are to be tried for could result in execution. They certainly don't leave it up to the courts in the other country to decide if that person is deserving of execution. Likewise, countries with a poor record of following their own laws or properly investigating may not be places where a country is willing to extradite people. Elements of the Swedish government have recently been discovered to have been illegally collaborating with US intelligence, thus bringing into doubt whether or not Mr. Assange's human rights would be adequately protected by the Swedish government.

It is absolutely important for a government to look at the protections for human rights and state of the legal system in another country before deporting a person there. I mean would you like to be deported to a country to face possibly spurious charges when that country has a history of collaborating with other nations that make people magically and illegally vanish to secret prisons to be tortured? If it was your extradition trial wouldn't you want the government of the nation you're in to look at the potential of your human rights being thrown out the window by the legal processes of the other country?

Well (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127780)

maybe he should have thought of that before pissing off most of the world

not that I care anymore about this "much of nothing" drama... just sayin

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35128088)

Who do you mean with "most of the world"? Most of the world's population sees him as a hero because he stood up to lying, thieving fascist murderers. Even if those were democratically elected.

How normal is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127814)

The whole US/Guantanamo/"Enemy Combatant" stuff aside, how normal is it for people who haven't been charged, to be forcefully extradited as a "witness?" Does this happen all the time, or are UK and Sweden treating Assange as a special case?

And if that's all there is to it, what's to stop Sweden from getting their shit together and charging him? Can't they just follow the normal process and still get what they want? In US, our government will charge someone with a crime, at the drop of a hat with even the mildest suspicion. They can always dismiss the charge later. What's so special here?

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