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Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder arrested in London

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Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.

The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court and following a US extradition request.

Ecuador's president said it withdrew his asylum after repeated violations of international conventions.

But Wikileaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law".

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47891737

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To quote your good self    "Pure Schaudenfreude  Moment"

also - ...appeared in Westminster Magistrates' Court, where District Judge Michael Snow wasted no time in finding him guilty of breaching his bail conditions, flatly rejecting his assertion that he had not had a fair hearing and a reasonable excuse for not appearing.  "Mr. Assange's behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests," Snow said. "He hasn't come close to establishing 'reasonable excuse.'"

and for those who doubt the Judge's determination that Assange is a narcissist, get a look at this photo of him, being dragged kicking out of the embassy,  

but still finding time to look straight down the barrel, of the camera lens for a good photo:

assange_today.jpg.280dea10d01680a953dd9330b0b13419.jpg

 

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Whilst I have general approval, of what WikiLeaks has done, releasing the Information etc, I do dislike this Assange character big time.

It has to be remembered, that the other founding members, of WikiLeaks, have not gone on, to  seek Attention Whore - Kardashian status - and to my knowledge are not facing imprisonment and worse :)

Other known members who are/were Wikileaks - Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell , Ingi Ragnar Ingason ,Gavin MacFadyen.

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...

More details emerged later, when Foreign Minister José Valencia told Congress that Assange had been using a mobile phone not registered with the embassy, repeatedly insulted the mission's workers - reportedly calling them US spies - and damaged the facilities by riding his skateboard and playing football, despite being told not to do so.

Cleaning staff, Mr Valencia said, had described "improper hygienic conduct" throughout Assange's stay, an issue that a lawyer had attributed to "stomach problems". One unnamed senior Ecuadorean official told AP news agency that other issues included "weeks without a shower" and a "dental problem born of poor hygiene".

Interior Minister María Paula Romo then complained that Assange had been allowed to do things like "put faeces on the walls of the embassy and other behaviours of that nature".

...

The whistle-blower also allegedly played loud music - in at least one occasion this reportedly happened during office hours, disturbing staff who were working - and deliberately blocked the embassy's security cameras.

Assange's stay at the embassy cost Ecuador some $6.5m (£5m) from 2012 to 2018, Mr Valencia said. Assange's Ecuadorean citizenship was also suspended.

...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47907600?fbclid=IwAR3L2fbLyd6f2-SDWlCcHGN_Zs5jqo6HBhGa-Ip8p0sPb5DrVB5tlZMjp5g

 

He does generally come across as an absolute douchebag.

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Is that a question of are the leaks inherently positive or negative? for the good of civil society in the world? or is selective use/leaking, for a political purpose, the quandary?

As I've said, in general terms I am in favour of leaks per se, i.e. Panama papers, finding out about torture, etc.

But putting undercover assets, in harms way,  is the opposite side of the coin, and yet, if you're gonna be a James Bond, the job comes with risks.

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Classic case of shooting the messenger. While Wikileaks did release the documents it's still not known who actually was responsible. While Assange founded it, Wikileaks is an entity of it's own now.

THE ASSANGE ARREST IS A WARNING FROM HISTORY

13 April 2019

embassyja.jpg

The glimpse of Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London is an emblem of the times. Might against right. Muscle against the law. Indecency against courage. Six policemen manhandled a sick journalist, his eyes wincing against his first natural light in  almost seven years.

That this outrage happened in the heart of London, in the land of Magna Carta, ought to shame and anger all who fear for "democratic" societies. Assange is a political refugee protected by international law, the recipient of asylum under a strict covenant to which Britain is a signatory. The United Nations made this clear in the legal ruling of its Working Party on Arbitrary Detention.

But to hell with that. Let the thugs go in. Directed by the quasi fascists in Trump's Washington, in league with Ecuador's Lenin Moreno, a Latin American Judas and liar seeking to disguise his rancid regime, the British elite abandoned its last imperial myth: that of fairness and justice.

Imagine Tony Blair dragged from his multi-million pound Georgian home in Connaught Square, London, in handcuffs, for onward dispatch to the dock in The Hague. By the standard of Nuremberg, Blair's "paramount crime" is the deaths of a million Iraqis. Assange's crime is journalism: holding the rapacious to account, exposing their lies and empowering people all over the world with truth.

The shocking arrest of Assange carries a warning for all who, as Oscar Wilde wrote, "sow the seeds of discontent [without which] there would be no advance towards civilisation". The warning is explicit towards journalists. What happened to the founder and editor of WikiLeaks can happen to you on a newspaper, you in a TV studio, you on radio, you running a podcast.

Assange's principal media tormentor, the Guardian, a collaborator with the secret state, displayed its nervousness this week with an editorial that scaled new weasel heights. The Guardian has exploited the work of Assange and WikiLeaks in what its previous editor called "the greatest scoop of the last 30 years". The paper creamed off WikiLeaks' revelations and claimed the accolades and riches that came with them.

With not a penny going to Julian Assange or to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie. The book's authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, turned on their source, abused him and disclosed the secret password Assange had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing leaked US embassy cables.

With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding joined the police outside and gloated on his blog that "Scotland Yard may get the last laugh". The Guardian has since published a series of falsehoods about Assange, not least a discredited claim that a group of Russians and Trump's man, Paul Manafort, had visited Assange in the embassy. The meetings never happened; it was fake.

But the tone has now changed. "The Assange case is a morally tangled web," the paper opined. "He (Assange) believes in publishing things that should not be published.... But he has always shone a light on things that should never have been hidden."

These "things" are the truth about the homicidal way America conducts its colonial wars, the lies of the British Foreign Office in its denial of rights to vulnerable people, such as the Chagos Islanders, the expose of Hillary Clinton as a backer and beneficiary of jihadism in the Middle East, the detailed description of American ambassadors of how the governments in Syria and Venezuela might be overthrown, and much more. It all available on the WikiLeaks site.

The Guardian is understandably nervous. Secret policemen have already visited the newspaper and demanded and got the ritual destruction of a hard drive.  On this, the paper has form. In 1983, a Foreign Office clerk, Sarah Tisdall, leaked British Government documents showing when American cruise nuclear weapons would arrive in Europe. The Guardian was showered with praise.

When a court order demanded to know the source, instead of the editor going to prison on a fundamental principle of protecting a source, Tisdall was betrayed, prosecuted and served six months.

If Assange is extradited to America for publishing what the Guardian calls truthful "things", what is to stop the current editor, Katherine Viner, following him, or the previous editor, Alan Rusbridger, or the prolific propagandist Luke Harding?

What is to stop the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, who also published morsels of the truth that originated with WikiLeaks, and the editor of El Pais in Spain, and Der Spiegel in Germany and the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. The list is long.

David McCraw, lead lawyer of the New York Times, wrote: "I think the prosecution [of Assange] would be a very, very bad precedent for publishers... from everything I know, he's sort of in a classic publisher's position and the law would have a very hard time distinguishing between the New York Times and WilLeaks."

Even if journalists who published WikiLeaks' leaks are not summoned by an American grand jury, the intimidation of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning will be enough. Real journalism is being criminalised by thugs in plain sight. Dissent has become an indulgence.

In Australia, the current America-besotted government is prosecuting two whistle-blowers who revealed that Canberra's spooks bugged the cabinet meetings of the new government of East Timor for the express purpose of cheating the tiny, impoverished nation out of its proper share of the oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea. Their trial will be held in secret. The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, is infamous for his part in setting up concentration camps for refugees on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus, where children self harm and suicide. In 2014, Morrison proposed mass detention camps for 30,000 people.

Real journalism is the enemy of these disgraces. A decade ago, the Ministry of Defence in London produced a secret document which described the "principal threats" to public order as threefold: terrorists, Russian spies and investigative journalists. The latter was designated the major threat.

The document was duly leaked to WikiLeaks, which published it. "We had no choice," Assange told me. "It's very simple. People have a right to know and a right to question and challenge power. That's true democracy."

What if Assange and Manning and others in their wake - if there are others - are silenced and "the right to know and question and challenge" is taken away?

In the 1970s, I met Leni Reifenstahl, close friend of Adolf Hitler, whose films helped cast the Nazi spell over Germany.

She told me that the message in her films, the propaganda, was dependent not on "orders from above" but on what she called the "submissive void" of the public.

"Did this submissive void include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?" I asked her.

"Of course," she said, "especially the intelligentsia.... When people no longer ask serious questions, they are submissive and malleable. Anything can happen."

And did.

The rest, she might have added, is history.

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I might add that Assange was, one of the founders, and the one, who jumped up in front of the cameras at every opportunity, he is not the founder, just the attention whore who takes credit for everything and then some.

There are more founders on this list - Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson, Joseph Farrell , Ingi Ragnar Ingason , Gavin MacFadyen.

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