June 18, 2012
Open Thread 2012-17
Some things to read:
A bit of history of imperial interference in Iran. No wonder that the Iranians reject any further attempt: Why weren’t they grateful? - Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Very British Coup - Book review by Pankaj Mishra, LRB
Interesting for the historic background on the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and their terror campaign in the 1970s: Syria's Islamist Movement and the 2011-12 Uprising - Fred H. Lawson, Origins
COIN always includes terror campaigns: How To Kill A rational peasant - America's Dangerous Love Affair With Counterinsurgency - Adam Curtis, BBC
Posted by b on June 18, 2012 at 01:07 PM | Permalink
i love adam curtis. thanks for the heads up b.
Posted by: annie | Jun 18, 2012 3:53:38 PM | 1
About Syria, from the NYT; talks about rebels ising fake guns in their video:
Syrian Liberators, Bearing Toy Guns
By C. J. CHIVERS
Published: June 14, 2012
The video, posted on YouTube, contained staples of underground fighters’ messages in the Internet age: 11 men dressed in black, each with his face hidden behind ski masks or cloth, posing with what appeared to be modified MP-5 submachine guns, a weapon often in service with counterterrorism teams.
One man in the group read a statement declaring the fight “in the service of God” against Mr. Assad’s “criminal regime.” Banners of the Free Syrian Army, the loose confederation of anti-Assad fighters, hung in the room.
... According to an analysis by a curator at a British arms museum, the 11 men were each holding a TD-2007, a Chinese-made toy replica of the MP-5 submachine gun, marketed as appropriate for children above the age of 5. To each, the men had affixed an extension — perhaps a painted dowel or a section of pipe — masquerading as a long barrel.
The curator, Jonathan Ferguson of the Royal Armories, in Leeds, said the outsize barrels gave the game away. “If they hadn’t done this, we probably wouldn’t have noticed that they weren’t armed with real guns,” he wrote by e-mail on Thursday.
Who made the video is not known; it was apparently posted by an opposition sympathizer this spring, part of the daily circulation from Syria of videos showing the suffering or activities of Mr. Assad’s opponents. The deception unraveled once Mr. Ferguson watched the video on Wednesday and realized that each man held his weapon with his left hand in a way that concealed where the fake barrel met the toy; then he noticed other parts that were out of proportion. A Web search found the match.
... This week The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, published photographs of a so-called ghost unit, loyal to Mr. Assad and accused of systematically killing Syrian civilians. The tabloid described them as “steroid-mad” and tattoo-covered, and wielding “AK-47s and machetes.”
Two images showed a purported member with a large semiautomatic pistol. The weapon was later determined, by the newspaper Al Bawaba in Jordan, to be a blank-firing replica of an Israeli-made Desert Eagle pistol.
Al Bawaba chided the opposition for circulating such images, suggesting that overreaching risked eroding the anti-Assad fighters’ public standing.
As the opposition has become “increasingly desperate for the outside world to take notice of Assad’s atrocities, the lines become blurred as to what is truth and what is propaganda,” Al Bawaba wrote.
It added, “With this kind of misinformation, it becomes more and more difficult for the international community to put words into action and support the Syrian people’s dream to topple Assad.”
Western analysts similarly suggested that the video exposed potential pitfalls in the opposition’s media campaign.
Posted by: www | Jun 18, 2012 3:54:39 PM | 2
www @ 2 -- Oh, now the NYTimes is noticing there's been a Hollywood aspect to the "activists" and rebels' videos? Hey, Timers, what about those faked field hospital scenes, with out takes of the little girl saying she didn't want her face shown or her parents would have heart attacks and all?
BTW, on our US evening news broadcasts over the weekend, there have been vidoes of lots of explosions, announced as being from government artillery, with extremely dark, thick, almost black smoke. Made we wonder.
If it were actual artillery hits, would it be that dark? Does that indicate oil stores were hit? Or...well, seriously, what do I know about munitions and there effects except what I've picked up from this site....
Posted by: jawbone | Jun 18, 2012 4:42:47 PM | 3
'Western analysts similarly suggested that the video exposed potential pitfalls in the opposition’s media campaign. ''
theyre very blase about these terrorists...treating them as if mere political candidates
Posted by: brian | Jun 18, 2012 6:06:10 PM | 4
That Adam Curtis piece is very good. Thought the best observation was that while the Revolutionaries will always have a Cause, the Counter-Insurgents might have everything else, except no cause. All boils down to inspiring people. If you invade someone elses country you can never inspire them to join you (you have too buy them off, or rule through fear). But you will always be giving the revolutionaries a cause which they can use to inspire people to side with them.
Also points out yet again that COIN has a long history of almost universal failure which makes you wonder why they decided to go with it in Iraq and Afghanistan (and why no one should be suprised at its failures in both countries).
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 18, 2012 6:13:24 PM | 5
Watching NewsHour just now, the discussion of Syria for the day featured not one, not two, but three shots of intensely thick black smoke coming from, the news reader said, Syrian gov't artillery attacks. One shot showed the whitish-light gray that seems more like what I've seen in, well, war movies. I've had no experience with real explosives other than viewing planned demolitions and, of course, the burning of the Twin Towers and their collapse, which was mostly light gray to dark gray smoke, except for the initial burn off of the planes' fuel.
Brian @ 4 -- you absolutely caught the tone of the article about those overly exuberant rebels just getting a tad over the top. Back off, a bit, lads; don't want to have viewers think you're not rationally violent.
And that it was so close to, exactly as you said, the tone taken with politicians who lie to their faces. The tone used when the MCMers (members of the Mainstream Corporate Media) feel they must maintain access and thus cannot be truthful, demand straight answers, or in any way show any lack of proper respect and obeisance to the pol. If the pol is not considered "serious" or is too far out on the edges of accepted political discourse, then the MCMer can take the individual on and ridicule him or her, be condescending, even somewhat brutal in puttin him or her down. No one of importance will come to the defense of a person considered non-serious, and thus not important.
Posted by: jawbone | Jun 18, 2012 7:22:12 PM | 6
"When Bashshar al-Asad was elected to the presidency a month later" I just read this from Fred Lawson's article and almost fell off my chair. Bashar was not elected, Bashar was appointed...He inherited the presidency from his father when his father died from cancer. He was not inline to get the presidency, but his older (and more brutal) brother Bassel died in a car accident, so the presidency was bestowed upon him. He did win a fake election with 97.2% of the vote. Don't you just love it when dictatorships hold fake elections!!! It is really sad that someone who writes an article does not even bother to check such basic facts.
Posted by: ndahi | Jun 19, 2012 3:43:23 AM | 7
US foreign policy does not work to the interests of US citizens, must be something else.
This on the usefulness of torture, and its reinvention by Western powers
"... Everyone forgets that the Iranian revolution of 1978-1979 was the revolution against torture. When the Shah criticized Khomayni as a blackrobed Islamic medieval throwback, Khomayni replied, look who is talking, the man who tortures. This was powerful rhetoric for recruiting people, then as it is now. People joined the revolutionary opposition because of the Shah’s brutality, and they remembered who installed him. If anyone wants to know why Iranians hated the US so, all they have to do is ask what America’s role was in promoting torture in Iran. Torture not only shaped the revolution, it was the factor that has deeply poisoned the relationship of Iran with the West. So why trust the West again? And the Iranian leadership doesn’t....Yes, I do. During the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Shah’s torture was the best recruiting tool the opposition had. Prisons were places where prisoners met each other and professionalized their skills, as I and others have documented. It feels like a nightmare watching American politicians make the same mistake as the Shah. I like to believe that with every mistake we must surely be learning, but sometimes it is hard to believe.."
"Yes, torture does migrate, and there are some good examples of it both in American and French history. The basic idea here is that soldiers who get ahead torturing come back and take jobs as policemen, and private security, and they get ahead doing the same things they did in the army. And so torture comes home. Everyone knows waterboarding, but no one remembers that it was American soldiers coming back from the Philippines that introduced it to police in the early twentieth century. During the Philippine Insurgency in 1902, soldiers learned the old Spanish technique of using water tortures, and soon these same techniques appeared in police stations, especially throughout the South, as well as in military lockups during World War I. Likewise, the electrical techniques used in Vietnam appeared in the 1960s appeared in
torturing African Americans on the south side of Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s, and, as I argue in the book, that wasn’t just an accident.
So torture always comes home. And the techniques of this war are likely to show up in a neighborhood near you. Likewise, the techniques that appeared in the War on Terror were already documented in INS lockups in Miami in the 1990s. There is no bright line between domestic and foreign torture; the stuff circulates..."
Six Questions for Darius Rejali, Author of ‘Torture and Democracy’
Posted by: somebody | Jun 19, 2012 4:05:50 AM | 8
That Adam Curtis piece is quite remarkable. It did bring back memories. When I first became politically aware (1958 or so) I read La Gangrene, the story of French Algerian torture of the Algerian rebels. A decade later the movie 'Battle of Algiers' helped put that war in a broader perspective. I also recalled the "Ugly American" which was definitely not an American pro war story.
It is so amazing how little we have learned. It seemed obvious when we first went into Afghanistan and Iraq that only defeat for American imperial goals would be the result. Defeat of American imperialism is not a bad outcome, but the economic costs to the American people certainly is bad.
At this point we should be licking our wounds and establishing a more humble role in the world. But no, after our "victory" in Libya we are now moving towards war against Syria and Iran. This is not going to end well.
Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 19, 2012 4:13:22 AM | 9
It is extraordinary how 10 years after Iraq, they are at it again using the same blueprint, but this time on Iran. I'm baffeled, When David Cameron take on the exact same role as Tony Blair 10 years earlier, I see now that they just don't learn, do they..
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 19, 2012 5:54:26 AM | 12
Where does the Iranian hate come from? ZNet has been writing about it for a while. As with many good things in the world, it was made in the USA in 1953:
"August 19, 1953: Iranian Government Overthrown by Rebels and CIA. The government of Iran is overthrown by Iranian rebels and the CIA in a coup codenamed Operation Ajax. The coup was planned by CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt after receiving the blessings of the US and British governments. Muhammad Mosaddeq is deposed and the CIA promptly reinstates Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the throne.
The Shah’s secret police, SAVAK, trained by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad, are widely perceived as being as brutal and terrifying as the Nazi Gestapo in World War II. British oil interests in Iran, partially nationalized under previous governments, are returned to British control. American oil interests are retained by 8 private oil companies, who are awarded 40% of the Iranian oil industry. US General Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr. (father of the general with the same name in the 1991 Gulf War) helps the Shah develop the fearsome SAVAK secret police. [ZNet, 12/12/2001; Global Policy Forum, 2/28/2002]
Author Stephen Kinzer will say in 2003, "The result of that coup was that the Shah was placed back on his throne. He ruled for 25 years in an increasingly brutal and repressive fashion. His tyranny resulted in an explosion of revolution in 1979 the event that we call the Islamic revolution. That brought to power a group of fanatically anti-Western clerics who turned Iran into a center for anti-Americanism and, in particular, anti-American terrorism. The Islamic regime in Iran also inspired religious fanatics in many other countries, including those who went on to form the Taliban in Afghanistan and give refuge to terrorists who went on to attack the United States. The anger against the United States that flooded out of Iran following the 1979 revolution has its roots in the American role in crushing Iranian democracy in 1953. Therefore, I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that you can draw a line from the American sponsorship of the 1953 coup in Iran, through the Shah’s repressive regime, to the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the spread of militant religious fundamentalism that produced waves of anti-Western terrorism." [Stephen Kinzer, 7/29/2003]
Posted by: www | Jun 19, 2012 7:23:25 AM | 13
From Chris Hedges' latest writings on the US media and the occupy movement:
"Those who have the largest megaphones in our corporate state serve the very systems of power we are seeking to topple. They encourage us, whether on Fox or MSNBC, to debate inanities, trivia, gossip or the personal narratives of candidates. They seek to channel legitimate outrage and direct it into the black hole of corporate politics. They spin these silly, useless stories from the "left" or the "right" while ignoring the egregious assault by corporate power on the citizenry, an assault enabled by the Democrats and the Republicans. Don't waste time watching or listening. They exist to confuse and demoralize you."
Here's the whole piece:
Posted by: ben | Jun 19, 2012 9:19:33 AM | 14
Thank you, b, for the link to Adam Curtis’s BBC piece on the development of counterinsurgency doctrine. It is very interesting.
The hearts-and-minds component of COIN requires a ‘good guys vs bad guys’ dynamic that is not available to the US military. Terrorist religious extremists are good candidates for the bad guy role, but given that US soldiers are armed ambassadors for a foreign policy which is in the interests of the global 1%, it’s highly unlikely that the locals will perceive them as good guys.
Posted by: Watson | Jun 19, 2012 11:50:46 AM | 16
Counter-insurgency presumes there is an insurgency in the first place, which is not always true.
Moreover, it can sometimes be prevented or scotched by non-violent means. Iraq comes to mind here.
Counter-insurgency is also a means for creating an insurgency. Pakistan today?
Of course after 9/11 self styled terrar and security experts sprang up.
They realized instantly the 9/11 story was BS and that the US would support the official version to the hilt and that there were ..golden opportunities for the non-scrupulous, as they would be handsomely, nay extravagantly paid to act serious and (sometimes) tell lies, invent information, and skew or misrepresent studies... Meaning that those jumping on the bandwagon went from murderous convicted thugs who wanted torture to prissy academics with extreme financial needs.
Here is one who has been active around here and rates a wiki page in eng:
Counter-insurgency is cheaper than all-out invasion (Bush the Younger, Afgh. and Iraq), see O-droner.
A *deliberate* side-effect, imho, was, is, that ordinary ppl of any kind, anywhere, can be treated with crack down, violence, prison - peaceful protestors become potential insurgents.
That is because the ‘wars’ now being fought are not between ideologies or countries, though they remain in some ways resource wars.
I’d forgotten about Curtis, long time no see, he is great.
Posted by: Noirette | Jun 19, 2012 11:59:00 AM | 17
Watson @ 16
That's nice. Great timing, in a period when the calls for intervention in Syria are getting stronger, and the sanctions on Iran are supposed to take effect, or in reality be dismissed.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 19, 2012 12:21:25 PM | 18
Iran, Russia, China, Syria to launch biggest joint war game in Mideast
Posted by: nikon | Jun 19, 2012 11:34:45 AM | 15
any confirmation of this? I saw somewhere that Bouthaina Shaaban denied this.
if this is true it will be very big so the veracity of that story is very important imho.
Posted by: erraticideas | Jun 19, 2012 1:16:35 PM | 19
see this video, from DU, their title:
Police State Update: NATO 'invades' Tampa, Florida to the cheers of the willfully ignorant
Website of the International SOF conference - SOF is special Operations Forces.
According to the blurbs, 96 countries participated.
Posted by: Noirette | Jun 19, 2012 2:03:47 PM | 20
As a companion piece, the Nation (now I’m not a fan of either DU or the Nation, but there you go), their title:
This week in Poverty: Disposable Families in Ohio
These families were not present to cheer black masks, helicopters and fake kidnaps that looked very real. They are starving.
Posted by: Noirette | Jun 19, 2012 2:19:23 PM | 21
(Reuters) - Russia and Syria on Tuesday denied an Iranian media report that Syria would host Russian, Chinese and Iranian military forces for joint exercises.
Iranian news agency Fars said 90,000 troops and hundreds of ships, tanks and warplanes from the four countries would take part in the war games on land and sea in Syria soon.
The Russian Defense Ministry called such reports "disinformation" and the Russian news agency Interfax quoted an adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as saying it was not true.
"There will be nothing like that. This is one of those (pieces of) false information that are distributed about (Syria)," Interfax quoted Bouthaina Shabaan, the adviser who was in Moscow on Tuesday, as saying.
Interfax said Shabaan was referring to a report on al-Arabiya television that was similar to the Fars article.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Jon Boyle)
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 19, 2012 2:26:21 PM | 22
They just reported on RT television that Julian Assange is in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and has requested political asylum in Ecuador.
Posted by: lysias | Jun 19, 2012 3:04:16 PM | 23
Jerusalem Post: Russia, Syria deny war games with China, Iran:
Russian and Syrian officials dismissed as provocation on Tuesday Iranian media reports that Iran, Russia, China and Syria are to conduct joint military exercises in Syria next month.
Iran's semi-official Fars News outlet, which has ties to the Iranian government, cited "certain unofficial sources" had confirmed the war games but did not say where those sources were from.
Posted by: lysias | Jun 19, 2012 3:09:08 PM | 24
This site - Instruments of Statecraft -
gives a history of quote, US Guerrilla Warfare, Counter-insurgency and Counter-terrorism, 1940-1990.
I’ve only read parts of it and found those highly relevant and interesting - but I am no expert on US history.
Informed by recently declassified and previously unpublished documents, Instruments of Statecraft is an authoritative study of American covert, unconventional warfare waged against ideological adversaries, from the Truman administration up to the recent war in the Persian Gulf.
have a look, I recommend anyway
Posted by: Noirette | Jun 19, 2012 3:42:24 PM | 27
Cardinal Mindszenty lived 15 years in the U.S. embassy in Budapest, where he had been granted asylum.
Posted by: lysias | Jun 19, 2012 5:21:23 PM | 28
I suppose Julian is getting a bit desperate. He has pretty good sources telling him that the grand jury voted an indictment on several counts of espionage. At the very least that would mean the rest of his life held incommunicado firstly while the kangaroo courts that are the amerikan justice system go thru their predetermined machinations. Later if there was a finite term to his sentence and he outlived it he would be shuttled off to some puppet govt's prison for another round, the way President Noriega of Panama was moved to france after he finished his amerikan political incarceration.
Knowing amerika's record they would probably kill him since they claim the right to kill anyone anywhere anytime if prez oblamblam says so.
But I hope he has thought this through. It is unlikely Ecuador can maintain control of its political system free from the empire's interference indefinitely, let alone protect Julian from a targeted assassination that would be disguised as a 'Mexican cartel murder' or similar.
Posted by: Debs is dead | Jun 19, 2012 5:47:28 PM | 29
Security should be a lot easier to assure inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London than it would be in Ecuador itself. A dull life, perhaps.
Posted by: lysias | Jun 19, 2012 5:55:39 PM | 30
The notion of being extradited "for questioning" was always quite ludicrous. The double-cross is firmly established by now, where Swedish authorities have probably initialed the agreements with the US already, that would send Assange straight to the Belly of the Beast. He is surrounded by the travesty and the pompous masks of justice. The whole process is rigged and waiting for him in Virginia: the sealed indictments are signed, and waiting, along with the whole pool of Security State factotums, from which the jury will be selected.
A comfortable cloister in the Ecuadorian Embassy is probably the best Assange can hope for, until the fascism burns itself out. And it could be quite a long wait, watching the sun and moon rise and set through the embassy windows. But it certainly beats the alternative.
I wouldn't put it past the Empire goons to kidnap Assange, if he actually attempts transit to Ecuador, or if he somehow arrives and tries to set up household there. If he is allowed to stay in the cloister in London; then he's probably better off where he is.
Posted by: Copeland | Jun 19, 2012 7:04:39 PM | 31
From Lockerbie to the cuban5 to Assange..the judicial systems are proving to be corrupt politicised and a danger to society...yet nothing is done to remedy this.Its hardly even acknowledged...Scots justice was said to be very good..yet it crumbled before state power.
Posted by: brian | Jun 19, 2012 7:10:54 PM | 32
Posted by: lysias | Jun 19, 2012 3:09:08 PM | 24
so syria is not allowed war games but israel US and arab dictatorships are...
Posted by: brian | Jun 19, 2012 7:11:48 PM | 33
They just reported on RT television that Julian Assange is in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and has requested political asylum in Ecuador.
Posted by: lysias | Jun 19, 2012 3:04:16 PM | 23
interesting move if true...and yes the bogus charges against Assange show the politicised nature of the case...with australias regime ready and willing to serve him up to the Empire
Posted by: brian | Jun 19, 2012 7:15:02 PM | 34
The Assange case highlights the extremely problematic EU extradition law. That law applies in Germany, too, German citizens can get extradited to EU countries without German authorities being allowed to check if the extradition request is lawful.
Somehow these laws are made whilst citizens are asleep.
Posted by: somebody | Jun 19, 2012 7:21:26 PM | 35
This struck me as a good political analysis of the Egyptian elections and the incompetent efforts of the military to control events.
It was inconceivable to me that they would allow Mursi to win that election. They had 40 years experience faking elections and it seemed the it was the least they would do to complete their coup. But no, the incompetent dolts just shocked the secular forces by disbanding parliament, who then voted for the MB and their votes were counted! This could have a happy ending provided the revolutionary forces are able to forge an anti-military coalition with the more reasonable factions within the MB.
Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 19, 2012 7:30:12 PM | 36
Noirette @ 27: Thanks for the Statecraft link. It will take a while to digest, but it gives much insight about current US policies.
Posted by: ben | Jun 19, 2012 8:35:46 PM | 37
Thanks for the Adam Curtis link.
Posted by: BobS | Jun 19, 2012 11:49:14 PM | 38
as for Assange and the hue and cry..the US refuses to extradite a known killed to Venezuela : Posada Carriles...who lives happily in Florida!
US has no cause to complain about Assange..nor do any of its poodles.
Posted by: brian | Jun 20, 2012 12:40:19 AM | 39
Somehow these laws are made whilst citizens are asleep.
Posted by: somebody | Jun 19, 2012 7:21:26 PM | 35
when last did citizens of 'democracies' make any of the laws they are supposed to live by?
Posted by: brian | Jun 20, 2012 12:41:12 AM | 40
The attack on Julian Assange is extraorinary. He now is seeking asylum with the Ecuador government in its London embassy.But given that he has not been charged and is only being sought for 'questioning' why is the effort to get him to sweden so persistent! At worst the charge would be rape:but the tenacity of the law suggests something else is at work. Two articles:
Glenn Greenwald has his finger on the pulse
he would be extradited to the US and so be subject to the brutality of US 'justice'..the cuban 5 know how just US 'justice' is.
The other article from the Guardian...focuses on Ecuador:
which is attacked for presumed lack of freedom of speech. SO:
'"I think this is ironic that you have a journalist, or an activist, seeking political asylum from a government that has – after Cuba – the poorest record of free speech in the region, and the practice of persecuting local journalists when the government is upset by their opinions or their research," said José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch's Americas division'
Free speech? why bring that up at all? Why the sudden veering into an attack on Ecuador?
Vivanco is well known for his attacks on the govt of Venezuela and esp president Chavez. Here the media/HR groups and the force behind he war on Assange, the US, are alligned.The issue of why the govt in Ecuador is critical of the press?:
'In May, panelists at the Human Rights Foundations' annual Oslo Freedom Forum dedicated some time to worrying about Ecuador's treatment of media and political dissent, two terms that might be roughly considered to include Assange's own work. Of particular concern was the million-dollar fine that President Correa imposed on an Ecuadorian newspaper for printing a letter to the editor alleging he had been involved in ordering police to fire on demonstrators at a protest in September. The letter's author, ironically, is currently seeking asylum in the U.S.'
thats hardly a valid comparison: the ecuador press like the venzuela press make a libelous statement based not in political dissent but political demonisation....issue that sort of statement in the US or UK and you can expect the same response: a law suit!
So why would the media like the Guardian and Atlantic warn Assange against Ecudaor? Maybe it is a suitable haven...and Assange and Correa have something in common as do the Ecuradoran press and the western press US govt and HRW
Posted by: brian | Jun 20, 2012 5:47:01 AM | 41
Yeah, about the charge, he supposedly had sex with a woman, and he wanted to not use a condom, the woman refused, though, after she fell asleep, he stuck it in, and she woke up and responded engagingly to the fact they were having sex, though, she wanted him to wear a condom, and when she became aware that he wasn't wearing a condom, she wasn't that pleased anymore. Turns out, she had a friend, another girl, who also had sex with Julian, and that girl got jealous, then came the threats of going to police if he didn't agree to submit a HIV-test blood-sample. Assange refused, not wanting to be blackmailed into submitting a blood-sample., And - that's pretty much the case. Not really rape is it.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20, 2012 6:39:43 AM | 42
It’s very important to support the rule that ‘no means no’, and if the facts are as alleged, I’d say that there was some type of sexual assault,
• There have been some questions about the good faith of one or both of the accusers.
• As sexual assaults go, this would not be the most serious example.
• It’s crucial to recognize that UK/USA are not after Assange because of his alleged sexual misconduct, but because he is the world’s most famous whistle-blower; and that he’s at risk of falling into the hands of a regime that prosecutes whistle-blowers rather than the thieves, torturers, and murderers, whom they expose.
• If significant governmental resources are going to be directed to Mr. Assange’s case, they should be devoted to protecting him rather than extraditing him. Consider the lengths that Mme Clinton went to secure the freedom of Chen Guangcheng, the anti-abortion activist who had run afoul of the law in China.
Posted by: Watson | Jun 20, 2012 11:56:11 AM | 43
The whole "extradited for questioning" is a canard that Assange's first English legal team thought it was wise to put in the papers (they have since been replaced).
Assange is as far as the Swedish justice system is concerned a fugitive who is remanded in absentia (Sweden does not use bail, either you remanded pending trial or you are not). His Swedish lawyer appealed the remand all the way, after that the European Arrest Warrant was issued. However, charges are not filed, because an investigation is not complete without questioning the suspect (who has the right to a lawyer, the right to remain silent etc).
If returned to Sweden he will be (in order) remanded, questioned and then (if he does not say anything that prompts further police work) brought to trial. If sentenced he will probably spend less then a year in a low-security facility, like the one Michael Moore visited in Norway. (If he had not entered on the doomed attempt to bring down the EAW system he would be out by now.)
After that he would be deported (to UK or Australia or Ecuador, I don't know), however legally under the EAW system Sweden has no right to extradite him to a third country (USA) without the approval of the UK (since they extradited him first). And if the UK wants to hand him over to the US, I think they would have done it by now. In addition if Sweden is likely to send him to the US, his visit here to apply for residency must have been a miscalculation in the first place.
Ah well, hope he lives a full life in Ecuador.
Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Jun 20, 2012 3:23:40 PM | 44
Doubt it, Swedish kind of death, you might wish that to be true, however Sweden is a member of the EU
and there is this extradition treaty
"An offence shall be an extraditable offence if it is punishable
under the laws of the requesting and requested States by
deprivation of liberty for a maximum period of more than one
year or by a more severe penalty. An offence shall also be an
extraditable offence if it consists of an attempt or conspiracy to
commit, or participation in the commission of, an extraditable
offence. Where the request is for enforcement of the sentence
of a person convicted of an extraditable offence, the deprivation
of liberty remaining to be served must be at least four
there is also this
and also this
Extradition relations with the United States and the removal of the prima facie evidence requirement
Baroness Scotland argued that:
The information which must be provided in order for a US extradition to proceed in the UK is in practice the same as for a UK request to proceed in the US [...] Insofar as these amendments [proposed to be inserted in the Policing and Crime Act 2009] are intended to address a perceived imbalance in our extradition relations with America, they are misconceived and unnecessary. Our extradition relations with the US – and indeed with the many other trusted extradition partners who are no longer required to provide prima facie evidence – are balanced and fair.7
In her earlier letter, Baroness Scotland had set out a history of the removal of the prima facie evidence requirement:
UK parliament pdf
It is a huge issue.
Posted by: somebody | Jun 20, 2012 3:45:13 PM | 45
So if the Swedes give some assurance that he won't be extradited that should end the problem.
Posted by: dh | Jun 20, 2012 3:59:23 PM | 46
Re: Assange -- The Swedish prosecutor could have questioned him via video, from everything I read. But I am no an expert about any law, much less Swedish.
However, I thought Assange's attorneys made it clear Assange had offered repeatedly to undergo questioning from England. Since the Swedish prosecutor had traveled to Britain for the various hearings, why not have questioned Assange then and there?
That's part of what makes the idea of an agreement w/ the US to pack Assange off a solitary in some US jail somewhere where he can wait for his kangaroo court trial.
Posted by: jawbone | Jun 20, 2012 6:55:35 PM | 47
It is indeed very suspicious behaveur of the Sweedes, I'm convinced their questioning and that whole Sweedish case is all an excuse to flog him off to the USA.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20, 2012 8:51:08 PM | 48
'After that he would be deported (to UK or Australia or Ecuador, I don't know), however legally under the EAW system Sweden has no right to extradite him to a third country (USA) without the approval of the UK (since they extradited him first). And if the UK wants to hand him over to the US, I think they would have done it by now'
not necessarily so...UK regime is more than willing to hand him over.
Posted by: brian | Jun 20, 2012 9:22:20 PM | 49
' As sexual assaults go, this would not be the most serious example. '
there was no more sexial assault in this case, than there is justice in UK Sweden or US!
Posted by: brian | Jun 20, 2012 9:23:48 PM | 50
So if the Swedes give some assurance that he won't be extradited that should end the problem.
Posted by: dh | Jun 20, 2012 3:59:23 PM | 46
of what value is this? politicians(which is what you mean by 'swedes') are not known for keeping promises!
Assange should not trust any western politician.
Posted by: brian | Jun 20, 2012 9:25:09 PM | 51
@brian I know what you mean. Maybe Assange could get a few high power international lawyers to draw up some kind of agreement witnessed by Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Kofi Annan and Ban Ki Moon. Still it would be a huge gamble.
Posted by: dh | Jun 20, 2012 9:37:52 PM | 52
Or maybe Bono would like to speak up. ;)
Posted by: dh | Jun 20, 2012 9:41:12 PM | 53
News About Syria - English
2 minutes ago
The most prominent points of the Russian - US agreement about Syria, according to Alnashar E-newspaper:
- A transitional phase entitled to install stability and open dialogue..
- The priority of the political solution that depends on the political pluralism, diversity and freedom of expression.
- Complete the presidential term of President Dr. Bashar al-Assad and the exclusion of proposals to step down or change the regime.
- A Syrian process in the context of re-ordering a new "regional order" which takes into account the US-Russian enterests especially in the issue of oil and gas.
- A U.S. - Russia Joint approach of the future of radical Islamic movements. In this area, Russian President Vladimir Putin managed to expand the U.S. fears of the danger of the West adopting the phenomenon of "Muslim Brotherhood" in power.
- A Russian-US agreement on Iran's participation in the International conference about Syria.
- A Syrian government that include all the political groups that adopt the political and diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, and comes in the context of U.S. - Russia understandings and going into details.
- Preventing the extension of the Syrian crisis to regional neighboring and specifically in the two circles of Jordan and Lebanon. This means that the tense situation in Lebanon will not be up to the explosion point nor the link between the Lebanese and Syrian situations nor to create a buffer zone in the north and on the border. This means Lebanon will no longer be the passage to smuggle arms into Syria.
Translated by JaNo...
Original post: http://goo.gl/yPrWO
Posted by: brian | Jun 21, 2012 4:03:47 AM | 54
That's not really news, Brian, only projections by the very pro-Assad, Abdel-Hadi Mahfouz looking into a crystal ball. Al-Nashr is an Enquirer-type publication. Stability is the last thing the US wants for Syria. When President Assad offered a general amnesty to all that would lay down their weapons last spring, which was a hell of a good deal, within hours Hillary announced that the rebels should not accept the offer, to not lay down their arms and for them to keep the fight going. Had the US been really interested in stability, it would not have spoiled this opportunity offered by the Syrian president.
Posted by: www | Jun 21, 2012 5:05:02 AM | 55
www, I think the Russians have a lot of leverage considering their know how on how to get out of Afghanistan ...
Posted by: somebody | Jun 21, 2012 5:15:36 AM | 56
I don't mean that UK or Sweden can not extradite him, but I mean that Sweden can not legally do so if he is surrendered by the UK.
European Arrest Warrant, Article 28
4. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, a person who has been surrendered pursuant to a European arrest warrant shall not be extradited to a third State without the consent of the competent authority of the Member State which surrendered the person. Such consent shall be given in accordance with the Conventions by which that Member State is bound, as well as with its domestic law.
So his risk of getting extradited to the US does not increase if he is extradited to Sweden, I would say it actually decreases as both the UK and the Swedish legal systems needs to approve an extradition to the US. His risk of getting convicted for rape however increases if he is extradited to Sweden.
Once more: he is not wanted for questioning. He is wanted so that he can be remanded pending trial. Before the charges are filed he will be questioned (as he has a right to be heard), however the court that decided to remand him (and the courts that upheld that decision) has of course looked at the prosecutors case so far. The prosecutor is not interested in questioning him, they are interested in getting him in lock-up so that they can question him, file the charges and proceed to court. The whole "wanted for questioning" is fudge from his first legal team that thought it was a good idea to play up minor differences in legal tradition as a hinderance to extradition.
Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Jun 21, 2012 5:24:06 AM | 57
'That's not really news, Brian, only projections by the very pro-Assad, Abdel-Hadi Mahfouz looking into a crystal ball'
The Clinton monster would go ballistic if the KKK or any freelance islamic terrorists were to blow up Washington with outside aid, while they called for democracy and sharia law to be instituted in the US
Posted by: brian | Jun 21, 2012 6:56:27 AM | 58
'I don't mean that UK or Sweden can not extradite him, but I mean that Sweden can not legally do so if he is surrendered by the UK.'
i dont even know what this means! since when has the Empire ever felt the need to adhere to any laws? they have a swag of clever lawyers allowing them to circumvent any law imagined...even the law of gravity!
Posted by: brian | Jun 21, 2012 6:58:04 AM | 59
Translation of the German article linked to @ 60
"Welcome to Syria!"
In the country of civil war journalists are not welcome. Our reporter managed to enter the country. His first report comes from Aleppo, the calm in the eye of the storm - by Alfred Hackensberger
The bomb was hidden on the sidewalk and exploded when the police car drove by. The two policemen in the car were killed instantly
The horror is still written in his face. "I'm standing next to it and unhurt, miraculously. My friend with whom I was traveling, is on the way to hospital." The bomb in the district Aziza, right in the center of the second largest Syrian city of Aleppo, marked the second stop in the city, the remains of the Syrian civil war so far largely spared. The first assassination attempt in February, 28 people died, 235 were injured.
Aleppo is actually such a thing as the calming influence in the country that is riven by brutal conflict, which are performed on both sides with relentless cruelty. Life goes on as normal here, all shops are open, the markets full of people every day. Deficiency of supplies, as in other war zones such as Homs, Dera, in Idlib there's no trace. Whether peaches, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, there is everything. In the evening, people sit in cafes and cozy restaurants, smoking their shisha, waterpipe.
Aleppo is with approximately 1.7 million inhabitants the second largest city after Damascus in Syria. It is located in the north of the country, just 50 kilometers from the Turkish border. Foreigners must bring a lot of patience to the Syrian border guards, bureaucracy and insolence like in the DDR era. Cases and bags are ransacked wildly as if you were a public enemy. It takes more than five hours for the border guard finally enters phone and laptop in the passport. But then the head of the customs calls friendly: "Welcome to Syria, now you can go wherever you want." A supprising openness. Other journalists are sitting in Damascus and are instructed not to leave the capital.
The drive from the border to Aleppo through rocky hills. Past olive trees, corn and harvested grain fields. In the villages, men sit in front of houses, smoking hookahs and drinking coffee. The war zone begins at checkpoints beyond the Syrian army (FSA). Young guys, not older than 20 years, with Kalashnikovs in their hands check all vehicles. "We here in this area are gentlemen," one of the rebel laughs and reveals a view of his only two remaining teeth. In the passport, he searches in vain for an entry stamp from Iran. The Islamic Republic supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and has deployed elite Revolutionary Guard forces in Syria. "No, no, noone comes here by Iran," he said seriously, before he waves his arms to move us on.
After about 25 kilometers, the area controlled by the FSA ends. Now it is the Syrian military, which controlled papers and search trunks. There are again very young men, some only half uniformed, visibly tired. Prior to their tents, a small armored personnel-vehicle is buried. From the positions of the FSA to the army soldiers, two kilometers separate.
"These people are only for Assad guard because they are well paid," a man later claimed in a crowded vegetable market in the center of Aleppo. "Actually, here are all against the President, but we keep quiet because we do not want to risk the destruction of our city." Problems it was only in the country, because the FSA freely could come across the border from Turkie. There has been no major demonstrations against the Syrian government in Aleppo, perhaps because the people here are doing well. Aleppo is the industrial capital of Syria. Here, textiles, pharmaceuticals, electrical appliances and even alcoholic beverages are produced. 50 percent of all industrial workers in the country are engaged in the region. There is also a town that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a magnet for international tourism.
"I haven't left Aleppo in half a year," says a taxi driver. "All residents are afraid to leave the city, especially by car." The FSA has, it is said, many drivers already forced at gunpoint to make their car available. Some owners had also disappeared without a trace. "But Assad will fall, which is inevitable," says the taxi driver. In principle, however, he does not care who is in power. "The FSA are no better than the present rulers."
Same opinion has Samir, who, along with other teachers for ten years, has run a small language school, which is now due to the civil war bankrupt. "The FSA makes no friends, they behave like criminals," says the English teacher and introduces his friend John, who runs a factory for electrical parts in the industrial area of Aleppo. "The rebels come and tell us entrepreneurs to close on Friday and Saturday, so it looks like a strike." Those who do not follow the instructions will be penalized. "The two factories of my neighbors have already been burned down by the FSA."
In the cafe "Baron" in the center of Aleppo sit three 25-year-old Christian Armenians who follow the European Championships on TV and smoke hookah here. "We hope that our president wins," said one of them, who introduces himself as Gero. "Assad protect us. We have our religion, our churches, schools and communities." The three young men think the media reports are exaggerated and false. "The Syrian army would never commit such a massacre, they say," says Ivecu who deals in scrap metal. For him and his friends, the FSA is a gang of bandits and terrorists, as propagated by the Syrian government. "We know exactly what happened in Homs," he adds with a serious look. There, the FSA had evicted Christians.
The looks of three Armenians is clearly afraid. It is the uncertainty that plagues them. How will the civil war end? They fear above all radical Islamists. "We have already received threats on the Internet. We are to disappear," says Kevoc, who is a professional interior designer. "Otherwise, we will turn our heads." Some 50,000 Christian Armenians of Aleppo had already fled abroad, and many would think about it, do it well. "But where shall we go?" Gero asks puzzled. "Syria is our homeland, our families are here, here is our life."
No less thoughtful is the father of Joseph. He is a priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, a congregation, which includes approximately 20,000 people in Aleppo. "My son has emigrated to Venezuela after his European countries have given a visa," he says, adding sadly, ". With his wife and young son" Every family in his community would consider to flee abroad. And who can afford it. "Only the poor remain to wait and see what happens."
The 58-year-old man God wants to remain in his homeland, although he is afraid of the Islamists. "My whole life I'm living in a street where only Muslims live. Religion was never a problem." Two million Christians living in Syria. But now rebels could overturn the peaceful coexistence of religions quickly.
For the clergy were the events in Homs, lived the predominantly Greek Orthodox, triggers his fear. "Six months ago we had driven the Christians there and set fire to their houses, killed ten people." Now there are only about 30 families that have been prevented, in the end, to leave the city. "A change of tactics," he explains. "Now, they use them as human shields."
The blame for the destruction of Homs, the 58-year-old does not give the regime. And Christian inhabitants of Homs, who lost their home, accusing the FSA. One of them is Fadi, he claims to have seen demonstrations against the "men with long beards," had distributed plastic bags with weapons to the young men. "And when the peaceful protest march past the police station, shots were fired from among the protesters at the police."
Father Joseph says goodbye. He even today wants to go to his home village at the Turkish border in the middle of the field occupied by the FSA. He advised friends to create white clerical collars to protect themselves. But he does not want that: "Who can stand at 40 degrees with a closed collar."
© Axel Springer AG 2012th All rights reserved - Translated by Google and Alexander Grimsmo
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 21, 2012 9:18:27 AM | 61
Sorry about the Google translator artifacts, like;
"No less thoughtful is the father of Joseph."
"No less thoughtful is father Joseph."
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 21, 2012 9:22:11 AM | 62
thanks for that alex and somebody...useful
Posted by: brian | Jun 21, 2012 9:23:41 AM | 63
>>> proof please>>>
Brian, a little known journalist in Lebanon writing in a tabloid and in specific detail about the private conversation between Putin and Obama, and you're asking ME for proof? Where else could this little-known journalist have gotten all this juicy private conversation if not from his crystal ball? You're not being reasonable.
Posted by: www | Jun 21, 2012 9:41:51 AM | 64
A Melkite Greek Catholic archimandrite has denounced Western media coverage of the Syrian conflict.
“The reality on the ground is far from the picture that imposes disinformation in Western media,” said Msgr. Philippe Tournyol Clos. “Opposition forces have occupied two areas, Diwan Al Bustan and Hamidieh, where there are all the churches and bishoprics.
“The picture for us is utter desolation: the church of Mar Elian is half destroyed and that of Our Lady of Peace is still occupied by the rebels,” he continued. “Christian homes are severely damaged due to the fighting and completely emptied of their inhabitants, who fled without taking anything. The area of Hamidieh is still shelter to armed groups independent of each other, heavily armed and bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. All Christians (138,000) have fled to Damascus and Lebanon, while others took refuge in the surrounding countryside. A priest was killed and another was wounded by three bullets. Still a couple live there, but the five bishops have had to take refuge in Damascus and Lebanon.”
The rebels, he added, are particularly cruel to the Alawites, a Muslim sect whose members include the Assad family.
Posted by: brian | Jun 21, 2012 10:01:20 AM | 65
Penny at Penny For Your Thoughts has the link for the new NYTimes article on CIA officers in southern Turkey working to get weapons to non-Al Q "activists," aka rebels. The article, which I believe you can get to via Penny's link without worrying about the paywall, also notes Turkey is actively working to provide weaponry to the anti-Syrian government groups. It talks about actions and weapons transfers which have been discussed here, but, while the Times article tends to softsoap what the US is doing, it's now out there on Page A1 of the major newspaper in the US. How much attention it will get, and how much readers can actually realize from it is up in the air. It requires reading between the lines. The headline indicates how punches are being pulled: C.I.A. Said to Aid In Steering Arms To Syrian Rebels, not "CIA Steering Arms...."
She also has a link to article about "the BlackShades RAT, a remote-access tool that gives him the ability to spy on victims machines through keylogging and screenshots."
The writer notes this kind of cyberwar software has a good chance of getting out into the world of regular users, and, as of now, it is difficult to detect.
If you scroll down, you can see that General Mood was clear about rebel intransigence, as his complete quote in Xinhua shows:
"The (Syrian) government has expressed that very clearly in the last couple of days. I've not seen the same clear statements ( from) the opposition yet," Mood said.
Posted by: jawbone | Jun 21, 2012 10:58:41 AM | 67
Interesting, but not like it's really news, as you can see from my rant from yesterday;
And by the way, Saudi-Arabia and Quatar are arming the rebels, withcoordination by the USA. You know what that means? Arabs are paying for weapons and wages for the rebels, and Americans are instructing the usage of weapons, and how tu utilize nitrogen fiirtilizer and diesel and whathaveyou to make IEDs, and deciding who of the rebels and terrorists and MB, FSA and all - who of them are getting the weapons and comms-equipment. And who are to be taught how to make Youtube-clip propaganda and who are to get sat-comm Internet (DARPA-net - really) to distribute their counter-intelligence. There's no denying it, the Pentagon footprint in Syria is quite pronounced.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20, 2012 2:02:58 PM | 44
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 21, 2012 11:36:00 AM | 68
Didn't mean to knock it, the real news is that NYT writes about it in that many words, explicitly. I see that.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 21, 2012 11:38:18 AM | 69
the sort of psychos the US is arming:
An eg of the lies they feed the media:
'Almost all the rebels the AP journalists met were from Syria's Sunni Muslim majority, and many consider the fight a religious cause. When asked what they are fighting for, most said they are fed up with corruption, harassment by security services and a system that gives preference to members of the ruling Baath party and the Alawite sect, to which Assad belongs. The word they used most often was dignity.
"If I go to the beach, I don't want an Alawite to call me a dog and I can't respond," said Ahmed Salim, 27, who left the police for the rebels in October. "I don't want to be treated like an animal. I want to be treated like a human."
Most fighters said they did not target other sects, only those who had fought for the regime.
There was little evidence of rebel attacks on civilians, but they were often merciless with regime troops. For most, the fight to topple Assad has become personal after they have been chased from their cities, their friends and relatives killed. Many frequently flip through "martyr" photos on their cellphones for inspiration.'
they claim to be religious and violate islamic rules of warfare
Posted by: brian | Jun 21, 2012 6:11:28 PM | 70
CIA spies in Turkey secretly help armed gangs in Syria: Report
Members of an armed gang in Syria (file photo)
Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:13AM GMT
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The CIA agents in southern Turkey are secretly helping the armed groups fighting against the Damascus government in Syria, a report says.
According to a New York Times report published on Thursday, some US and Arab intelligence officials say a group of “CIA officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey” and that the agents are helping the anti-Syria governments decide which gangs inside the Arab country will “receive arms to fight the Syrian government.”
“CIA officers are there and they are trying to make new sources and recruit people,” said one of the Arab officials, whose name was not mentioned in the report.
The arms include automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and antitank weapons, which are being transported “mostly across the Turkish border,” the report said.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar pay for the transport of the weaponry into Syria, according to the US and Arab intelligence officials cited in the report.
The CIA spies have been in southern Turkey for the past several weeks and Washington is also considering providing the armed gangs with “satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements,” the report adds.
The Thursday New York Times report comes two days after the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the government was trying to evacuate civilians from the western city of Homs.
“Contacts have been made with the leadership of the international monitors, in cooperation with the local Syrian authorities in the city of Homs, to bring out these Syrian citizens,” said the statement issued on June 19.
“But the efforts of the monitors were unsuccessful… because the armed terrorist groups obstructed their efforts.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja’afari, told reporters in New York on June 19 that armed groups in Syria were violating the peace plan brokered by the UN-Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, and that the “only way to push forward is to guarantee the success of the six-point plan.”
In addition, the head of the UN observer mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, said in a briefing to the UN Security Council on June 19 that the UN monitors were “morally obliged” to stay in Syria despite a recent decision to suspend the activities of the team.
On June 16, Mood said the UN monitoring team was “suspending its activities” in Syria due to an “intensification of armed violence.” [notably vague statement! Does he mean insurgent violence against UN team?]
Over the past weeks, the anti-Syria Western governments have been calling for the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on June 20, “No one is entitled to decide for other nations who should be in power and who should not.”
“A change of power, if it occurs -- and it could only occur by constitutional means -- should result in peace and stop the bloodshed,” the Russian president said.
He made the remarks in a press conference in Los Cabos, Mexico, after the G20 summit.
Posted by: brian | Jun 21, 2012 7:08:26 PM | 71
its called Hypocrisy:
Compare Ken Roth on Assange and on Chen Guangcheng
Posted by The Editors on June 21, 2012, 4:50 pm, in reply to "HRW boss Kenneth Roth's tweet on Chinese dissident case "
Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Odd that free-speech advocate Assange would seek asylum with #Ecuador, known under Pres Correa for suppressing speech. trib.al/L1tK6c
Kenneth Roth @KenRoth
7:27 AM - 28 Apr 12
Will Chen Guangcheng case upset US-China relations? Only if #China decides so. US has no choice but to grant asylum to persecuted dissident.
Ecuador has no choice but to grant asylum to a persecuted dissident....at least Roth should be safe!
Posted by: brian | Jun 22, 2012 4:14:46 AM | 72
Roth is being jewish.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 22, 2012 6:48:03 AM | 73
australia and US regimes do conspire:
Aussie diplomatic cables confirm that U.S. DOJ is pursuing charges against Assange, as reported by Sydney Morning Herald: Assange felt ‘abandoned’ by Australian government after letter from Roxon:
Last December, Fairfax Media obtained the release under freedom of information of Australian Embassy cables that in December 2010 reported from Washington to Canberra that WikiLeaks was the target of an “unprecedented” US criminal probe and that media reports that a secret grand jury had been convened in Alexandria, Virginia, were ”likely true”.
The released cables show that the Australian embassy in Washington confirmed from US officials that the US Justice Department was conducting an ”active and vigorous inquiry into whether Julian Assange can be charged under US law, most likely the 1917 Espionage Act”.
Australian diplomats asked for advance warning if any US extradition moves ”so that ministers could respond appropriately
as we see here aussie regime are poodles to the US. This is why julian said his govt had abandoned him....
Posted by: brian | Jun 22, 2012 7:02:34 AM | 75
an eg where laws are remade to suit political need:
'Previously, extradition had to be refused if the alleged crime was political in nature. Now “terrorist”-related offences will no longer be exempt from extradition. This provision could well be used against Assange. US Vice President Joseph Biden has described Assange as a “high tech terrorist,” a charge repeated by others.
The amendments to the Australian Extradition Act further permit the government to introduce regulations, with little public scrutiny, to do likewise for other offences, such as espionage or sedition.'
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/australian-government-assisting-extradition-of-julian-assange-to-us-2012-4#ixzz1yWv65qPE
the irony here is the US and australian regime are working with islamic terrorists in libya and syria! but noone in any position to do so raises this bit of hypocrisy! this lack of public scrutiny confirms this is antidemocratic...but noone cares
Posted by: brian | Jun 22, 2012 9:54:28 AM | 76
Roth is being jewish.
Am I missing something, or is that purely anti-semitism?
Posted by: Watson | Jun 22, 2012 9:56:24 AM | 77
Watson @ 77
is that purely anti-semitism?
No, it was a sleepdeprived and not so well motivated attempt at sarcasm.
As far as jews go, Ken Roth is a credit to his people, one of the HRW guys actually not afraid of criticizing Israel. But his opinions on Ecuador could be better researched. Zionists would be better advised doing as the founder of zionism suggested, and establishing a Zion in Ecuador.
Sorry about what could be seen as a racial slur. It was rally just a reflection on his name, I never even thought about him being jewish until I wrote it and pressed enter.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 22, 2012 1:08:57 PM | 79
Thank you. It didn't sound like something you meant to say.
Zionist scoundrels regularly equate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. We progressives have to avoid essentialism and ethnic blaming.
Posted by: Watson | Jun 22, 2012 1:26:34 PM | 80
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 22, 2012 1:51:27 PM | 81
Soccer for philosophers = very funny!!
Greece isn't laughing today though: Germany 4 - Greece 2
Posted by: Watson | Jun 22, 2012 4:44:31 PM | 83
englanders have had some really egregious extraditions to amerika in the last decade, but altho there was public protest there wasn't any substantial organised public protest.
The plan right from the start has been to drag Assange to sweden where a series of carefully rehearsed witnesses will very publically blacken his name, making Assange a completely unsympathetic character in the eyes of many peeps who currently dislike the notion of him being extradited to amerika.
Then after he has done a lag for his 'rape' (which I have no intention of debating the actual circumstances of since none of us can ever hope to find out what really happened now or in the future- far too many interested parties have interfered making anything remotely approaching a 'fair' trial impossible)amerika will apply to have him extradited on espionage charges.
england will accede since many liberals will find it too hard to stand up for a convicted rapist of the character that the scripted testimony at trial will have painted- englander pols will say it is really a matter for sweden and amerika, just as swedish pols are saying it is really a matter for england and amerika, sufficient people will be too indoctrinated, confused, and believe it all 'too historic' to cause problems for any englander govt who accedes.
The only nation who could throw a spanner in the works sufficient to prevent Assange from being executed or spending the rest of his life in prison is australia - BUT the australian PM is an englander (like NZ, foreign born citizens are permitted to hold positions of political power in Oz - this has made usuk hegemony of australasian natural resources considerably easier - someday maybe I'll post on why this is.) so she's not gonna say much - her cabinet is staffed almost entirely of bourgeois ego-centrics desperate to 'get ahead'.
Like every other 'social democratic' political movement, in the australian labor party (they took the u out of labour after the Whitlam dismissal to show their obeisance to amerika) pols who are suspected of possessing the weakness of rating ideology ahead of careerism get weeded out long before they come anywhere near pre-selection for a position in the federal parliament.
Posted by: Debs is dead | Jun 22, 2012 9:40:36 PM | 84
@brian - learn how to link properly
The Third Intifada Is Inevitable
Matti Steinberg, a former senior adviser to Israeli security chiefs, described Mr. Abbas as the most obliging, nonviolent Palestinian leader Israel has encountered and warned of taking him for granted. “The Israeli center is caught in a vicious cycle,” he said. “It argues that it cannot make peace while there is violence, and when there is no violence it sees little reason to make peace.”
History may credit Mr. Abbas with reigning over the more virtuous phase of this cycle, but he has likely laid the groundwork for the uglier one. Hamas, meanwhile, has already moved on. “Israelis had a golden opportunity to sign an agreement with Abbas,” Hamas’s health minister, Basem Naim, told me in Gaza last November. “But the chance has already passed. They will not get it again.”
It is going to start soon and will be very bloody.
Posted by: b | Jun 23, 2012 12:41:34 PM | 86