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Wikileaks' Assange Begins Extradition Battle 479

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

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  • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:02PM (#35127436)

    or even Guantanamo Bay

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

    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['o.c' in gap]> on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:05PM (#35127478) Journal

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

      • Related to the MIC, Guantanamo and Wikileaks being an enemy of the state: the relevant leaked "cablegate" Embassy Cables are even being read out to Congress now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfF7FUlhg4o [youtube.com]
      • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:29PM (#35127796)

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

        • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:34PM (#35127856)

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

          • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:40PM (#35127940)

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

            • by Nadaka (224565) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:47PM (#35128022)

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

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

              • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:59PM (#35128188)

                Nah. That's too cliche. I've known enough people personally who actually *step up and try to make things better* - and fail to make everything better - to know that it's damned hard to change everything. If you really think that it's possible to promise massive political change and then actually make every promise come true (and anyone who doesn't is a devious snake), you're a deluded fool. The best that anyone can do, even at the level of POTUS, is to nudge things one way or the other and hope that some of it takes.

                If you think you can do better, then by all means step up and give it a go.

              • by HBI (604924) <kparadine@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 07, 2011 @02:01PM (#35128218) Homepage Journal

                I dislike the guy but I think he just realized the domestic political realities that caused Bush to open the camp at Gitmo in the first place. NIMBY is one big issue. No one wants a trial near them, or incarcerations of known Muslim enemy combatants near them. It's not like a camp full of Germans in WWII, these guys haven't given up the desire to fight us. So you put it in Castro's backyard. Another issue is Federal court jurisdiction and pesky lawyers trying to interpose civilian authority over a fundamentally military matter. So you stick it in a purely military reservation overseas. It's about as good a solution as can be arrived at.

                • by Will.Woodhull (1038600) <wwoodhull@gmail.com> on Monday February 07, 2011 @02:37PM (#35128676) Homepage Journal

                  NIMBY is only a small part of it.

                  The remaining prisoners at Gitmo were put there through unlawful means. Under USA law, if they were to be brought to a fair trial the judge would have to let them walk. The evidence is that badly tainted by fucked up procedures that it would not be admissible.

                  Bush and Cheney could have done a final solution to these problematic prisoners while they were in office; do it under the cover of the emergency provisions they granted themselves, or just do it under cover: move all the prisoners to a detention barge in Guantanamo Bay and then do like the battleship Maine... oh so sorry, what could have caused that bang? But Bush and Cheney lacked the political guts to finish what they had started, and now we have a mess that is impossible to clean up.

                • by morgauxo (974071) on Monday February 07, 2011 @02:47PM (#35128790)
                  The US possesses a pretty big desert that is nobody's back yard. It also possesses islands big enough for a penitentiary that are US soil and yet in nobody's back yard.
                • This is probably the real problem: The people in the military don't really want to let their catches go. I am guessing that the people in Gitmo are die-hard enemies of the US that simply cannot be charged with anything because of lack of evidence. Everyone knows that they are probably nasty characters, but there is no legal justification to hold them.

                  It is sort of like arresting Al Cappone. You know you have someone who belongs behind bars, but the rules of the game say you cannot hang on to him without
                  • by Znork (31774) on Monday February 07, 2011 @05:03PM (#35130162)

                    "I am guessing that the people in Gitmo are die-hard enemies of the US"

                    Well, if they weren't when they were rendered, one can imagine that a decade of illegal imprisonment of even the most innocent man can probably make them a bit miffed.

                    And even handing them a load of money as an apology might not be entirely optimal; some who might not find money of adequate value to replace ten years of life could end up donating the funds to terrorists...

                    It's that age old problem. Once you start really screwing people over some of them can't seem to take a joke. So in trying to make the world 'safer', it ends up being both a worse and less safe world.

                • by mikelieman (35628)

                  these guys haven't given up the desire to fight us.

                  No one has proven that they had a desire to fight us in the first place. Due Process FTW!

          • by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:47PM (#35128026)

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

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

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

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

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

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

            • by Hatta (162192) on Monday February 07, 2011 @02:43PM (#35128752) Journal

              So far, Congress has forbidden the Executive from moving detainees from Guantanamo[3,4] by huge supermajority votes (90-6 in the Senate, for instance). The actual statutory language[5] is quite clear (quoted below).

              The statutory language is quite clear. They have not prohibited the closure of Guantanamo. They have not prohibited Obama from moving detainees from Guantanamo. They have prohibited him from using budgeted funds to move detainees to the US.

              There are any number of ways to deal with this. First, you could just unlock the doors, shut off the lights, and walk away. This option is free! Alternatively, he could find other ways to fund the closure of Guantanamo. Set up a collection plate and I'll donate.

              • The statutory language is quite clear. They have not prohibited the closure of Guantanamo. They have not prohibited Obama from moving detainees from Guantanamo. They have prohibited him from using budgeted funds to move detainees to the US.

                There are any number of ways to deal with this. First, you could just unlock the doors, shut off the lights, and walk away. This option is free! Alternatively, he could find other ways to fund the closure of Guantanamo. Set up a collection plate and I'll donate.

                Doesn't matter, no Executive personnel can do anything to further that end. They cannot shut off the lights or unlock the doors. They cannot take a US government airplane off the island. They cannot hire a contractor to move the good back to some storage facility on the mainland.

                The prohibition of funds to a particular end makes it unlawful for any employee of the US government to lift a single single finger towards that end.

                What's more, if you want to argue stilted legalism, then don't be shocked when some

            • by morgauxo (974071) on Monday February 07, 2011 @02:56PM (#35128910)
              First.... This was the case before he ever made the promises so it doesn't change the fact that it was all BS.

              Second... If we ever had a president that actually had balls he would address the people and say... I promised you A, you voted for me.. The ball currently lies with congresspeople B-Z, they told me to go to hell, now go tell them what you want.

              Of course anybody with that kind of balls would never make it that far in politics. What I don't get though is why don't they grow them once they become president? It's a dead end job anyway. Since when do former presidents go back into office in some other position? I guess I could see waiting until a second term but that is no guarantee to get re-elected. Wouldn't it be better to go down in a one term blaze of glory making huge waves then be just another 8 year pansy?
            • Because Obama is not the dictator of the United States but must faithfully execute[1] the laws passed by the Congress when they are within the power of Congress to regulate. As it happens, Congress has the explicit power to determine what happens to captures[2] during a time of war.

              You make an excellent point. The president has very few powers. But it brings up and interesting point of accountability: If the congress is responsible for holding prisoners at GitMo, couldn't they be individually charged wi
              • by Blakey Rat (99501)

                I think the bigger problem is voters voting for an office based on powers that office doesn't have. I mean, one person on this thread explicitly voted for Obama so he would close Gitmo, ignoring the fact that it's neither his job, or even in his power, to do so.

          • by eln (21727) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:53PM (#35128100) Homepage
            He made sort of a halfhearted attempt at it toward the beginning of his presidency, but dropped it after a huge public outcry about the possibility of moving any of the prisoners to facilities in the mainland US. It didn't help that very few Congresspeople wanted to openly support the idea of having terrorists (even suspected terrorists) housed in prisons in their districts.

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

            It was one of the first of many examples of this president preferring to alienate his base in order to maintain the naive hope that he could bridge the political divide in this country.
            • by mcvos (645701) on Monday February 07, 2011 @02:12PM (#35128344)

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

              They are being illegally imprisoned without trial because they might be found innocent? Justice in the US is truly dead.

          • Because (Score:4, Insightful)

            by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Monday February 07, 2011 @02:22PM (#35128470)

            I want to know why Obama hasn't closed the damn place yet.

            Because he's just George W. Bush with better speech-giving skills.

          • Guantanamo has not been closed yet because the persons remaining there cannot be prosecuted successfully under USA law, because their rights were so badly abused when they were taken prisoner that even with conclusive evidence that they have killed USA citizens, they would have to be allowed to walk.

            Guantanamo is a legacy cesspool created by a total disregard for law, constitutional rights, and international rights before Obama came on the scene. We are going to be stuck with its stench for a long time...

            • by Belial6 (794905)
              I hate to say it, and I haven't thought it out well, so pick apart at will, but one way out may be to make it as absolutly pleasent as is humanly possible. Don't let them go, but make it as posh as possible with people waiting on the prisoners hand and foot. After a short time, let them have visitors, and treat the visitors like honored guests. It will still be a cage, but it would be a lot harder for them to gain support for their mistreatment when that mistreatment ended with many years of finely decor
            • You know. Perhaps some of them really *are* innocent.
          • I want to know why Obama hasn't closed the damn place yet. One of the major reasons I voted democratic in the last presidential election was to put an end to this sort of thing.

            Because you were silly enough to believe that there really are two parties with different agendas and concerns? I gave up on believing that fantasy a long time ago... shortly after I found out that the tooth fairy wasn't real either. Actually, I'd say there's more evidence for the tooth fairy being real than there is evidence that the democratic and republican parties are much different when it comes to things of this nature. ;-)

        • The power of the people has been usurped by government while the power of the government has been usurped by large corporate interests, that's what happened.
      • by HBI (604924)

        An Australian citizen charged with espionage would be tried in a civilian court. He's not an enemy combatant.

        When he starts waving a cheap AKM copy and firing at US soldiers, then we'll re-evaluate.

      • by DarthVain (724186)

        A Canadian Citizen has been rotting in there for the past 8 years without a trial. He has since confessed to crimes, however it was a plea bargain to get released back to Canada. This reminds me of both the inquisitions, "hey just confess and we will stop torturing you!" and the line from Enemy at the Gates:

        "Threw my ass in prison. What were you doing in Germany, huh? Excuse me, says I, but it was comrade Stalin who sent me there. Don't bring our glorious leader
        into your treachery. Confess, spy bastard! Con

      • by jc42 (318812)

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

        Even more to the point, the US has a reputation for sending people who aren't enemies to Guantanamo, and then not releasing them because they've become enemies.

        It's also worth pointing out that Julian Assange is widely considered (by Americans who are familiar with his story) a friend of the US. He's just not a friend of some of the US's political leaders.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aynoknman (1071612)

      or even Guantanamo Bay

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

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

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:16PM (#35127610) Homepage

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

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

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

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

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

      It was called "extraordinary rendition".

    • by Framboise (521772) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:42PM (#35127962)

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

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

       

    • by harks (534599)
      Numerous powerful US political figures and pundits have unashamedly called for his assassination. Fear of going to Guantanamo is not unreasonable. http://www.peopleokwithmurderingassange.com/ [peopleokwi...ssange.com]
  • Is it me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jerep (794296) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:04PM (#35127462)

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

    • Re:Is it me (Score:4, Insightful)

      by decipher_saint (72686) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:09PM (#35127524) Homepage

      It's the old song and dance

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by peragrin (659227)

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

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

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

      • Re:Is it me (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:15PM (#35127606)

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

      • by vertinox (846076)

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

        The problem is that it seems the US believes the opposite is true. That if you commit an action on foreign soil that is legal there but illegal in the US, that you must come to the US and face trial even if you weren't a US citizen to begin with.

        At least that is what some politicians are calling for...

    • by panda (10044)

      Bingo! We have a winner!

    • by Duradin (1261418)

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

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

    • Re:Is it me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:26PM (#35127750)

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

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

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

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

      It's just the US.

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

    • by guspasho (941623)

      Of course, because it's far easier to attack the individual. If you can discredit the individual you can discredit the cause.

  • by inpher (1788434) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:05PM (#35127466)
    Sweden has laws that are similar to those in the UK, so I see very little extra risk for Assange to be extradited to USA if he is transferred or travels to Sweden. I would think that staying in a NATO member (like UK) would be more of a risk. Extradition for Criminal Offences [sweden.gov.se] in Sweden:

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

    • by Entropius (188861)

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

    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:18PM (#35127638)

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

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

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

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

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

  • Guantanamo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kenrblan (1388237) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:07PM (#35127498)
    If the US were trying to extradite Assange to put him in Guantanamo, why would there be a need to wait on his appearance in Sweden. The UK is just as likely to allow that extradition as Sweden. His lawyers have come up with an excellent straw man.
    • by 91degrees (207121)
      I have no idea how Assange's lawyers think this is going to work. They're presumably smart people who understand the law but the obvious counter to this is that the argument is completely beside the point since nobody is even talking about extradition to the US.

      My only guess is that they see the extradition to Sweden as inevitable (which seems odd), and want to make sure that the Swedish prosecutors throw in a load of unnecessary agreements not to extradite him to the US.
  • I hope he stays in either UK or Sweden and never gets escorted to US. If you ask me, last president in charge there was Bill Clinton and I don't know who is in charge since then.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

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

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:15PM (#35127598)

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

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

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

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

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

    If this story is true, it sounds like Assange must be as charming as Ge

    • by RattFink (93631)

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

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

      • by Zironic (1112127)

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

    • by NoSig (1919688)
      Surely no women are attracted to a man being portrayed everywhere as singlehandedly taking on the corrupt and dastardly of the world, including nations like the US, and being successful at it while having an "up yours" attitude to these powerful forces.
  • then he might be extradited. Doesn't that indicate that the proper place for this argument would be any future extradition hearing in Sweden?
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday February 07, 2011 @01:52PM (#35128096)

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

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

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

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Monday February 07, 2011 @03:14PM (#35129092)

    I think it is great that someone is finally calling the US on human rights violations. I think it is ridiculous that the USA preaches to places like China and other human rights violators, while at the same time threatening to jail a journalist for printing information freely. Not to mention the whole no rule of law, torturing, and imprisonment without trial, etc...

    Do as I say, and not as I do!

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

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