Julian Assange Speaks from Embassy

Update: Assange spoke from a balcony. He looked healthy. He called for an end to the U.S. war against whistleblowers:
"The United States must vow it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful"

Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange is scheduled to give a statement today at 2pm London time from the Ecuadoran embassy.

How will he do it without stepping outside where British police are waiting? [More...]

[He] risks arrest if he takes even one step out of the building. With police officers primed to detain him, Assange must find a way of speaking publicly without setting foot outside, raising the possibility of him being forced to speak from a balcony or lean out of a window.

.... Britain's Foreign Office warned that the steps to the embassy were considered British territory while police said officers would take "appropriate" action" if he strayed from the building.

Maybe they can just put a big TV monitor on the steps which broadcasts him speaking from inside. Like the kind they have at concerts so the people in the back can see closeups of the performers who otherwise just look like tiny figurines.

Here's a countdown clock until he speaks.

Interpol says its red notice against Assange continues despite Ecuador's decision to grant him asylum.

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    Maybe Julian Assange (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:00:32 PM EST
    could achieve release on compassionate grounds.  It worked for al-Megraghi who was convicted of the murder of 270 people in the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Scotish authorities  let him return to Libya where he lived for almost another three years.

    Also, British Home Secretary Jack Straw released  General Augusto Pinochet to return to Chile where he lived another 8 years.  The General fought extradition to Spain in regard to his 17 year reign of terror, torture and death.  Of course, Julian appears to be in good health, and his underlying crime is  agent of transparency.

    I guess his overlying (alleged) crime (none / 0) (#11)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:32:27 PM EST
    would be sexual misconduct. Alleged! I said alleged!

    My money is on Sweden promising not to extradite him to the U.S. if he returns to Sweden to face allegations.

    One interesting tidbit from his speech is his desire to reunite with his children and family. I think this is the first time he has so publicly acknowledged that he has more children than Daniel, who, as far as I know, he hasn't seen since 2007. Cryptome also revealed that he has a daughter.

    KeysDan, do you really think Assange would leak info critical of Ecuador if he were living there? There's nothing transparent about WikiLeaks itself. It has taken others to leak information about it, and one of my favorites is John Young of Cryptome, who doesn't seek publicity. He just continues to release documents -- and skewer Assange occasionally.  


    Well, I do hope that Assange gets (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:17:17 PM EST
    to Ecuador so that we can see what he does.  I probably did not make myself clear, but I see Assange as an "agent" of transparency, meaning that his activities are capable of producing or promoting a transparency effect.

    Indeed, it seems to me that the chilling of those capabilities is at the heart of the matter.  Former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, offered candid perspectives that, to me, support  fundamental anti-whistleblowing and anti-transparency when he said about Wikileaks cable dumps: "....is it embarrassing. Yes.  is it awkward?  Yes.  Are there consequences for U.S. foreign policy?  I think fairly modest.  


    That is... (none / 0) (#13)
    by bmaz on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:58:16 PM EST
    ...a promise Sweden cannot make in the face of extradition compacts they have signed with the EU, UK and United States.  that is a hollow and sham talking point, and always has been.

    What is the reasoning of the Assange (none / 0) (#14)
    by observed on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:38:20 PM EST
    side here? Assange could also be extradited from the UK, right?
    The only thing I can think of (unless he is simply avoiding the chages in Sweden)
    is the fear that Sweden will hold him in custody until the US has prepared charges to justify extradition.
    Far fetched?

    Exactly. Assange has said that he would (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by caseyOR on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:43:29 PM EST
    willingly go to Sweden to answer questions about the sexual assault allegations if Sweden would guarantee that he would not then be extradited to the U.S. Sweden will not give him that guarantee.

    He sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy because he has lost all of his court appeals in Britain and the Brits were going to be extradite him to Sweden.

    I would bet that the U.S. already has extradition papers prepared and ready to file the instant Assange is in Swedish custody. No waiting necessary.


    Again... (none / 0) (#16)
    by bmaz on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:34:59 PM EST
    That is a patently sham and hollow offer in light of binding Multilateral EU/US Extradition agreements.  It is the reddest of herrings. As is the necessity of Sweden to formally "file charges". Sweden has perfectly legal, and valid on its face, process lodged against Assange.

    Not to mention, the UK now has its own legally valid hold on Assange for violating his release conditions.


    how do you see this playing out? (none / 0) (#17)
    by SuzieTampa on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:08:52 PM EST
    Heh, Not sure, but... (none / 0) (#18)
    by bmaz on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 01:10:38 PM EST
    While it is nowhere near as exciting as talk of jet packs, helicopter rescues and James Bond shipping containers, my guess is Assange stays holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy until either he and/or Ecuador grows tired of the arrangement and then a deal to turn him over to the Brits for return to Sweden is cut. Could be a long standoff.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 01:50:29 PM EST
    to me that sounds analogous to being arrested for resisting arrest.  

    Apparently Speaking Down From the Balcony Like Evi (none / 0) (#1)
    by bmaz on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 07:31:02 AM EST
    Don't cry for me Ecuadoria

    damn, bmaz (none / 0) (#2)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:58:50 AM EST
    You beat me to it.

    I (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:01:31 AM EST
    went to the countdown clock.

    The part which says that it is about Julian Assange's forthcoming statement was obliterated by ads after about three seconds.

    There is no way of removing the advertising.

    Now (none / 0) (#4)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:09:45 AM EST
    the countdown clock is counting up - not down.

    Instead of telling us of the time remaining before Assange's talk, it is telling us of how much time has past since 2PM in London.

    Big brother in action?


    just watch Fox News... (none / 0) (#5)
    by fishcamp on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:58:33 AM EST
    they'll tell you all about it.

    countdown (none / 0) (#8)
    by LeaNder on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:26:07 PM EST
    I was a bit confused about combine 14:00 or 4 pm with five hours from now.

    Sound is not really good under the circumstances.


    how to combine (none / 0) (#9)
    by LeaNder on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:28:22 PM EST
    "how to" combine, maybe better: how to reconcile with

    Due to his asylum status he is restricted ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Andreas on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 12:56:44 PM EST
    ... regarding political statements.

    For that reason he was not able to denounce the criminal character of the activities of the Obama administration and US imperialism against Wikileaks.

    Uh (none / 0) (#7)
    by bmaz on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:12:01 PM EST