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The Wikileaks debate continues


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#1
Kaftan Barlast

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A bit of background first, I couldnt find a summary in english on a proper news site, so wikipedia will have to do for now. You can follow their sources for more detailed info.

On 20 August 2010, an investigation was opened against Assange in Sweden in connection with an allegation that he had raped a woman in Enköping on the weekend of 14 August after a seminar, and two days later had sexually harassed a second woman he had been staying with in Stockholm.[107][108] Shortly after the investigation opened, however, chief prosecutor Eva Finné overruled the prosecutor on call the night the report was filed, withdrawing the warrant to arrest Assange and saying "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape." He was still being investigated for harassment, which covers reckless conduct or inappropriate physical contact.[109] The second woman, Anna Ardin[110][111][112], was a member of the Swedish Association of Christian Social Democrats, a Christian affiliate of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, which organized a seminar and news conference in Sweden for Assange. She was acting as Assange's spokeswoman and hosting him as a guest in her home during his stay in Sweden.[113] Ardin has been reported by the media to be linked to notorious CIA operative.[114][115][116][117][118][119] Assange said "the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing"; his supporters say he is the victim of a character assassination and smear campaign.[120] Assange denies any wrongdoing but admits to having had unprotected but consensual encounters with two women during a visit to Sweden in August.[113][121] He was questioned by police for an hour on 31 August,[122] and on 1 September a senior Swedish prosecutor re-opened the investigation saying new information had come in. The women's lawyer, Claes Borgström, a Swedish politician, had earlier appealed against the decision not to proceed.[123] Assange has said that the accusation against him is a "set-up" arranged by the enemies of WikiLeaks.[124]

In late October, Sweden denied Assange's application for a Swedish residency and work permit. Subsequently, on 4 November, Assange said that he is considering a formal request for political asylum in Switzerland as "a real possibility."[124] He would also move the WikiLeaks servers to Switzerland in order to "operate in safety."[125] However, according to the Swiss Refugee Council (Schweizerische Flüchtlingshilfe), his chances of obtaining asylum there are small. Assange would first need to claim protection from his native Australia, and then make a credible argument that Australia could not protect him. This would be extremely difficult, according to the organisation.[126]

On 18 November, Stockholm District Court approved a request to detain Assange for questioning on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion.[127] Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny, who had reopened the investigation in September, said she had requested the warrant because, "so far, we have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogation."[127][128] Assange's British legal counsel, Mark Stephens, disputed this, saying "we were willing to meet at the Swedish embassy or Scotland Yard or via video link" and that "all of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate."[129][130] On 20 November, Sweden's National Criminal Police force issued an international arrest warrant for Assange via Interpol; an EU arrest warrant was issued through the Schengen Information System. "We made sure that all the police forces in the world would see it", a spokesman for the National Criminal Police said.[131]

Stephens dismissed the charges,[129] issuing a statement in which he called the allegations "false and without basis" and said "even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape."[132][133]

On 18 November, Assange's Swedish lawyer, Björn Hurtig, stated that the evidence against Assange was "very meager. It's not enough to get him convicted for crime."[134]

On 24 November 2010, Assange lost an appeal against his detention, and thus remains under arrest in absentia and under an arrest warrant. The Svea Court of Appeal rejected his appeal and upheld the decision to remand him by the Stockholm district court.[128][135] In late November, Assange escalated the process by appealing to the Supreme Court of Sweden,[135][136] but the Court refused to hear the appeal.[137][138]
Wikinews has related news: Interpol orders arrest of Wikileaks founder to face rape charges

On 30 November 2010, Interpol issued a red notice against Assange on behalf of Sweden for questioning on allegations of "sex crimes."[139][140] Interpol's spokesman clarified, "if it wasn't for a request from Sweden, we would not have changed the status of his warrant."[141] Initially the notice was marked "restricted" but made public only after Sweden said they should.[142] British police rejected the arrest warrant. A spokeswoman for the Swedish National Police Board told the BBC that Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency had requested a new order as the original one had listed only the maximum penalty for the most serious crime alleged, rather than for all of the crimes. Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny admitted the procedural fault and immediately filed a new detention order.[143]

Ny filed charges of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.[144][145] Assange denies the charges, which his lawyer described as stemming from a "dispute over consensual but unprotected sex",[145] which may constitute rape under the Swedish law.[144] The coincidence of the Interpol notice and European Arrest Warrant on Assange with the United States diplomatic cables leak was subject of commentary by the media.[144][145] Stephens, said "It is highly irregular and unusual for the Swedish authorities to issue a red notice in the teeth of the undisputed fact that Mr Assange has agreed to meet voluntarily to answer the prosecutor's questions" outside Sweden.[146]

On 5 December 2010, Stephens told The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, that Assange would fight attempts to take him to Sweden over the allegations[147] due to the possibility that it could lead to the Swedish handing him over to the US, where politicians have called for him to be executed.[148]

He was arrested in London by the Metropolitan Police on 7 December by appointment, after a voluntary meeting with the police.[14] Later that day, Assange was refused bail and held in custody on remand.[149] He will be remanded in custody till 14 December.[150]

http://en.wikipedia....ed_sex_offences



The issue now is wether either the brits or we swedes will cave in under pressure from the US and have Assange extradited to the US. Technicly, its not possible claims swede expert

Speculations that the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, once in Sweden, is vulnerable to be extradited to other countries, such as the US, are rejected by a Swedish legal expert.
"That requires the approval of the country that carried out the arrest warrant," says Sara Myrdal at the Swedish Prosecution Authority's international unit.

http://sverigesradio...amp;grupp=13199


However, from the piratebay trial and information leaked by wikileaks, we know that the US have substantial influence over the workings of our legal system. And in the past we have allowed the CIA to apprehend and take away foreign nationals without objection. If Assange is extradited by the brits to sweden, the only thing that could save him is fear of a public outcry against Sweden and the US

So, do you think Assange will be handed over to the US and what will happen to him then?

Edited by Kaftan Barlast, 08 December 2010 - 09:20 AM.


#2
Tale

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Has the US actually made a request for extradition? I know they were looking in to see if they had any cause or right, but hadn't heard that they'd found anything.

#3
Meshugger

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The US can't do jack shoot about Assange. He hasn't done anything that's illegal. I donated 20 bucks today to wikileaks btw.

#4
Malcador

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Doubt the US will want him, nor will they execute him even if they did get him - despite Assange's stated fears mostly outside folk rambling. They should execute Manning if anyone.

#5
Monte Carlo

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I'm not familiar enough with US law to know whether Assange can be charged with a criminal offence of the gravity to trigger extradition.

The Swedish case is what it is, an allegation of sexual offences. Once these are dealt with, i.e. Assange is either found guilty or not guilty, then the US might try to get their bite of the cherry. Assange has received and distributed illegally obtained material belonging to and caveated by the US Govt. From a legal POV I suppose there might be substantive criminal offences there. Maybe one of our American forumites, and especially Grom, might be able to comment.

In any case, sorry, but I don't buy into the Assange-as-free-speech-martyr meme.

The guy knows what he's doing, and yes he's the face of a new type of online activism. But he's a grown man, he's rolled the dice now he has to face the consequences.

#6
Meshugger

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Swiss bank, paypal, Visa and MasterCard has cancelled any transactions to Wikileaks now. Man, even the african dictators get away with that. We have a war on terror, war on drugs and poverty, but the biggest political-financial effort is focused on this guy. He really seems to have caused a rockus on the "establishment".

However, Ron Paul summed it up nicely:

"In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."

Damn straight.

Also, Chomsky is right as usual about the reporting of the media on the wikileaks case.

Edited by Meshugger, 08 December 2010 - 10:11 AM.


#7
Enoch

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The guy knows what he's doing, and yes he's the face of a new type of online activism. But he's a grown man, he's rolled the dice now he has to face the consequences.

Exactly. The moral thrust of civil disobedience is to do what you think is right, regardless of the cost or retribution that may come from the authorities. Evading that retribution greatly undercuts the moral authority with which you speak.

That said, that doesn't necessarily mean that the U.S. has any existing legal authority to reach him. Most of the speculation I've seen centers on the Espionage Act of 1917, which seems like a pretty thin reed to go on.


I've been on the record that there hasn't been anything all that newsworthy in what he's leaked. The damage to the level of secrecy required to have a functioning diplomatic system-- which is a pretty major concern when the country involved is the primary actor in dealing with the "problem" states in the world on behalf of the rest of the West-- has been the main casualty.

But the recent disclosure of the US's list of essential infrastructure sites changed my mind about that. Most of those sites could be reasoned out by a sophisticated attacker, but the vast majority of would-be terrorists who'd like to damage the U.S. aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed (witness the attempted shoe- and underwear-bombing numbskulls), and an itemized target list removes a serious obstacle from their bid for martyrdom. That's the kind of leak that can get people killed.

Edited by Enoch, 08 December 2010 - 11:27 AM.


#8
Gfted1

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^Agreed. Its leaks like that which prove this has nothing to do with "full disclosure" or "civil disobedience" and everything to do with trying to make a name for himself while damaging the U.S.

I humors me to see people proudly proclaining they support Wikileaks because they think they are "fighting the power".

As an aside, not that its legal or moral, but why dont we just send a sniper to put a bullet in his head? End of story.

#9
Enoch

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As an aside, not that its legal or moral, but why dont we just send a sniper to put a bullet in his head? End of story.

Because that would have the opposite of the intended effect vis a vis stopping future leaks of classified material.

#10
Gfted1

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As an aside, not that its legal or moral, but why dont we just send a sniper to put a bullet in his head? End of story.

Because that would have the opposite of the intended effect vis a vis stopping future leaks of classified material.


How so? This just so happens to be the perfect storm of a U.S. service member who was willing to sell out his country meeting another person who is all to happy to diseminate said information to everyone in the world. I think a bullet would go a very long way in plugging potential future leaks. And just to show I dont discriminate, the soldier should get one too.

#11
Gorgon

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Why would he be extradited to the US, as I understand it no one there is bringing charges. It's beside the point that assorted pundits and lunatics have called for his execution, that's just the colour of political discourse right now, it represents no official stance.

I suppose it's entirely possible that some one set him up. One can't really know.

Edited by Gorgon, 08 December 2010 - 12:00 PM.


#12
Nepenthe

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Yeah, never mind. :p

Edited by Nepenthe, 08 December 2010 - 12:08 PM.


#13
ShadySands

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As an aside, not that its legal or moral, but why dont we just send a sniper to put a bullet in his head? End of story.

Because that would have the opposite of the intended effect vis a vis stopping future leaks of classified material.


How so? This just so happens to be the perfect storm of a U.S. service member who was willing to sell out his country meeting another person who is all to happy to diseminate said information to everyone in the world. I think a bullet would go a very long way in plugging potential future leaks. And just to show I dont discriminate, the soldier should get one too.


You don't think the assassination bit is a little extreme?

Also, I'm sure the Soldier will get what's coming to him.

EDIT: not a bullet

Edited by ShadySands, 08 December 2010 - 12:53 PM.


#14
Thorton_AP

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As an aside, not that its legal or moral, but why dont we just send a sniper to put a bullet in his head? End of story.

Because that would have the opposite of the intended effect vis a vis stopping future leaks of classified material.


How so? This just so happens to be the perfect storm of a U.S. service member who was willing to sell out his country meeting another person who is all to happy to diseminate said information to everyone in the world. I think a bullet would go a very long way in plugging potential future leaks. And just to show I dont discriminate, the soldier should get one too.


You make them martyrs.

#15
Tale

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I never really credit the "martyr" idea, but I have little doubt that there will be dramatic global backlash. Political (holy ****, you straight up murdered a foreign citizen) and civilian (you want a leak, I'll give you a leak!)

#16
Humodour

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Julian Assange is an Australian citizen who has not broken any Australian laws. He is also not the leaker - he is the leader of a media organisation, WikiLeaks. Australkia is now providing him consular assistance in his legal case with Sweden.

#17
Humodour

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But the recent disclosure of the US's list of essential infrastructure sites changed my mind about that. Most of those sites could be reasoned out by a sophisticated attacker, but the vast majority of would-be terrorists who'd like to damage the U.S. aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed (witness the attempted shoe- and underwear-bombing numbskulls), and an itemized target list removes a serious obstacle from their bid for martyrdom. That's the kind of leak that can get people killed.


Very disappointing indeed.

#18
Gfted1

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You don't think the assassination bit is a little extreme?


Good question, I dont know. How much damage do you feel an individual should be able to do before its too much? If there is no legal recourse due to different countries laws do you just let him run amok?

I never really credit the "martyr" idea, but I have little doubt that there will be dramatic global backlash. Political (holy ****, you straight up murdered a foreign citizen) and civilian (you want a leak, I'll give you a leak!)


I disagree. As I stated earlier, it took a specific service member in a specific location who was willing to sell out his country to a person trying for a famegrab by spreading it around the world. I dont think that many service members would be willing to do that and hopefully the U.S. military will adjust accordingly to ensure it doesnt happen again. So no, your civilian tidal wave of secret data would never materialize. And while they would have to put on a show of handwringing I seriously doubt there would be any serious political backlash over his death.

#19
Aram

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As an aside, not that its legal or moral, but why dont we just send a sniper to put a bullet in his head? End of story.

**** off man.

#20
Gfted1

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:p

Stay classy Aram.




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