Obama slow to take Condi's get-Assange-of-WikiLeaks advice?
- Peter Dow of Rice for President Yahoo Group discusses WikiLeaks and the US response so far.Wikileaks - Heroes, Villains, Other?
My answer "Villains", right now, primarily because Condoleezza Rice as my choice for world leader says so.
The Independent: WikiLeaks vs The Machine
If, as the Independent says, this is a fight between WikiLeaks and "The Machine", I, for one, am siding with the machine.
I, at least, know the value of discipline and loyalty to the leaders of the free world, whereas it seems Assange and WikiLeaks want to make the headlines irrespective of outcome - sometimes doing good, sometimes risking danger to others.
WikiLeaks is too anarchic right now and Condi should be supported as and when she decides to crack the whip on them.
As Condoleezza Rice, who is, in my opinion anyway, the leader of the free world, precisely promotes freedom and human dignity for all the people in the world therefore WikiLeaks should be more careful to take their lead from her.
I think WikiLeaks needs a new management ethos and organisation hierarchy which works with Condi and her staff at the US State Department (or ex-staff but you know what I mean).
If Assange and WikiLeaks come to order, give an undertaking to toe the line and generally work with "the machine" then maybe Condi will be less severe in the punishments she is looking for.
Generally it is the best advice to appease Condi and give her what she is asking for, most times anyway. The "New World Order" is not an Imperial dictatorship but the world does need a president and it should be Condi, not Assange.
I think we need to be open to the possibility that in fact it is Assange's friends in Sweden who are trying to get him to safety in Sweden because they fear he is under threat from an extradition to the US, so they are making up, inventing a sex offence complaint to give some grounds, any grounds, to ask the UK to hand him over to Sweden rather than to the USA.Advice to Assange supporters regarding WikiLeaks-vs-The-Machine
If I was speaking to Assange, his legal advisors or supporters, here is what I would say to them.Peter Dow wrote: Now if you think Julian Assange should decide what gets published in this world and not Condi then I trust that you have some political videos, with or without music, to post in defence of your man or some other evidence showing how many millions of people Assange has saved from tyranny and disease? No? Oh dear. Assange's defence - strike one.
There is no legal defence to an accusation by Condi because it is primarily a political offence, not just a legal offence.
One course of action is a guilty plea to whatever charge they come up with, agree to co-operate and be very, very sure to get the best possible water-tight plea bargain you can get. No really. You need it written in blood from the US president and you need to give them whatever they want to guarantee the plea bargain.
Either that or flee to sanctuary somewhere. Russia wants to recommend Assange for the Nobel Peace prize I hear and President Putin has described the arrest of Assange as "not democratic" so maybe Assange might get asylum in Russia IF he can get to Russia and maybe via Sweden is the best way to Russia?
Condoleezza Rice walks on this earth without living parallel, IMHO. She is the nearest thing to a messenger of God, and that's coming from an atheist! She is here to save us from our worst selves and we should be grateful.
So I would think Assange's best tactic to ever be a free man in the West is to apologise a lot, salute Condi, or better yet grovel low to Condi, get in line and start taking orders from Condi or rather from her staff because he is too low in the food chain to get direct access to Condi.
Otherwise Assange could be in for a very, very long hard time in a US jail. Some in the US want to execute him. The US is not very forgiving about this kind of thing. Research "Jonathan Pollard" if you doubt me in any way.
I have tried to put in a word for mercy for Pollard as have many others but still he suffers, and that was for maybe a suitcase worth of documents, not the masses of volumes Assange has distributed.
Next to Pollard's 25 years and counting in prison, a stretch in a Swedish prison for a sexual offence and maybe an exit to Russia afterwards if he can avoid extradition to the US after the Swedish case is disposed of, is like a slap on the wrist.
I am not sure why I am giving any advice to Assange at all. I am such a soft touch for a loser I guess, being a loser myself.
I guess I feel sorry for Pollard, think he has had too hard a time and don't wish that on anybody with naive fantasies of doing good by leaking documents.
The Swedish extradition is not Assange's real problem. It may be his best option if he can't square things with Condi and that is going to be very, very hard to achieve.
Maybe I could have, should have tried to warn WikiLeaks about this before they got themselves in such difficulty but I didn't see this far ahead.
We should not ignore the possibility that the bogus Swedish "sex" charge could actually be a rescue-Assange bid which WikiLeaks supporters in Sweden have concocted to try to rescue Assange from a pending US extradition to a much worse fate.
Admittedly, my theory doesn't explain why Assange isn't jumping at the chance to be extradited to Sweden especially if he is expecting a US extradition attempt.
The BBC have addressed themselves to the legal theory if the USA apply to extradite Assange as well.BBC wrote: BBC: Q&A: Arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
What would happen if the United States made a request to extradite Mr Assange from the UK?
When there are two competing claims to extradite someone, the home secretary has to decide which takes precedence. In making that decision, he or she will take into account the relative seriousness of the offences for which the person's extradition is sought, where the offences were committed, and the timing of the two requests.
Extradition to the United States is governed by the Extradition Act 2003. This provisions governing extradition between the two countries has been criticised for creating a lop-sided relationship under which the United States no longer has to provide prima facie evidence - normally in the form of witness statements - that an offence has been committed.
That criticism was voiced in relation to the case of the so called 'Nat West Three'.
If Mr Assange is extradited to Sweden and the United States wanted to extradite him from there, they would need the consent of the United Kingdom.
Such an extradition would be conducted in accordance with Swedish law and the extradition arrangements agreed between Sweden and the United States.
It has been suggested that it would be easier for the United States to extradite Mr Assange from Sweden than from the United Kingdom.
This does not appear to be the case as the United States would have to show that there were reasonable grounds for the extradition from Sweden. This is arguably a higher test than the test which applies when an extradition is sought from the United Kingdom.
But as the Gary McKinnon extradition case shows, the political realities when there is media / famous person / public sympathy for the accused person can push legal theory to the side and a political special case made.Quote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon
On 20 July 2010 Tom Bradby, ITN political editor, raised the Gary McKinnon issue with President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron in a joint White House press conference who responded that they have, in fact, discussed it and are working to find an 'appropriate solution'
I predict there will be more politics in the Assange case where feelings run higher on both sides - Assange is more of a villain or more of a hero to most than ever McKinnon is.
I think though that the US has more political clout with the UK than Sweden has so Assange may have missed his chance to take the Swedish extradition option.
The lawyers will want to milk this for every fat fee they can get, and the extraordinary rendition option, by-passing the courts' extradition procedure - I don't know if the Obama - Cameron team are so keen on as the Bush - Blair team, so maybe that is out too?The real terrorist websites out there
The real question is this - if the machine can shut down WikiLeaks easily enough - why are they not shutting down all those pro-Al Qaeda pro-Taliban pro-terrorist Jihadi websites?
If they can arrest Assange who is a thorn in the foot of the machine, why not arrest those running pro-terrorist websites who are really trying to murder and kill us all and end our freedoms - they are our real enemies whom the machine should be going after.
A few such terrorist websites have been taken down and some webmasters jailed but I have a strong feeling more are out there and those should be the priority target of the machine.
Here is a reminder from a 2007 video I have recently (re-)uploaded about what a real terrorist website looks like and I sincerely hope that such real terrorist websites are the ones the authorities are cracking down on mostly.
On-line UK terrorists convicted, 2007: too little, too late! (YouTube)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8rZVDXtVSEQuote: Video details
ABC World News, Charlie Gibson anchors in the newsroom. Jim Sciutto reporting from London in 2007.
MSNBC: Britain convicts its first online-terror culprits.
The FIRST UK convictions for inciting Jihadi terrorism on the internet in July 2007.
That's two years after the 52 people killed in the London bombings and nearly 6 years after the thousands killed in the US 9/11 terrorist attacks. So, the UK was slow to take action against on-line terror to save lives and the problem of terrorist websites world wide is a current and continuing problem in the war on terror.
The internet battlefield
Any such WikiLeaker can be tracked down from WikiLeaking, not from being in personal contact with Assange but by being in contact with leakers, websites and the mass media and leaving a trail of clues back to the WikiLeaker.
Assange was very public and made himself an easy target but there is no way for the invisible man to provide a full WikiLeaking service.
The only exception I can see to that vulnerability is when one country hosts a WikiLeaking website which WikiLeaks other countries' secrets.
In other words, if Moscow WikiLeaks Washington's secrets and vice versa then I suppose it would take a lot more than Interpol to arrest a WikiLeaker then.
For example, if right now, Assange was really a UK or HM secret agent, and so the UK refused to hand him over to the US, then he would be a lot harder to shut down.
The point also applies to terrorist websites. If a terrorist website and webmaster is a secret agent of a country then he or she will be harder to shut down.
For example, if an Al Qaeda terrorist website is a secret agent of the Saudi government, say, maybe Obama and Cameron and other western leaders dare not insist that the Saudis close it down because such a confrontation would involve a serious fall-out in relations with the Saudis and be perceived as unacceptable interference in their internal affairs and the west doesn't want to offend them and lose business deals with the Saudis?
So the West's leaders may feel powerless.
Rather than admit all that, confront the real problems, which are difficult and would require sorting out by very clever people, they make up false excuses for doing nothing such as "we keep the sites up so we can track the enemy".
The enemy websites can be hard to track because our police are too slow and don't have enough skills and expertise, not like Assange has. The terrorist websites close down at a whiff of trouble and spring up elsewhere. Our police are not able to patiently track down the webmasters and organisers. Our police have not invested in enough competent internet detectives and as I have mentioned, they don't get co-operation in some countries where the government is sympathetic to the terrorists.
The terrorist websites are major recruiting mechanisms which are the primary method of increasing the size of the enemy, especially in the west or in countries with a middle-class with internet access. Just monitoring the terrorist websites means monitoring them recruiting new people, making new terrorists.
The curious and wanna-be terrorists meet on jihadi websites / forums, meet up with their new terrorist handlers then go off to discuss in private somewhere where they are not being tapped and tracked.
New people should not be allowed to be lured into and brainwashed into becoming terrorists. This is just adding to the problem and increasing the danger.
Instead, find a way to close down the websites, arrest the webmasters and prosecute and jail them as was done in the video I posted above.
The point of asking and demanding that those terrorist websites get shut down is to force governments to confront the real problems, whatever they are.
If the reason terrorist websites are not being shut down is because of our rotten, corrupt, spineless, incompetent governments then it is worth knowing that because to win the war on terror we may have to change the governments, "throw the bums out", as Condi says.
Or if that is not the problem, we need to find out what is, because if there is a will for good governments to shut down terrorist websites then there is a way.
Here is one idea worth considering. If Assange and company were to turn over a new leaf, stop leaking our secrets, help out in tracking down terrorist webmasters and organisers - helping The Machine instead of being a thorn in its side, this would be a good outcome of this unhappy WikiLeaks story.
All the more reason for Assange to start co-operating with the US, make a deal with them as soon as possible before Condi busts him up with her golf club and does him such a terrible injury that he becomes too disabled to function as a internet fighter for any side in the internet battles which are going on.Assange makes bail and no sign of US extradition yet. Why?Quote: BBC: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange freed on bail
This BBC web-page contains an interview with Julian Assange and Kirsty Wark. Listening to it, I thought at one point, Kirsty was going to ask Assange if he understood the Swedish word for "No".
Assange could be extradited to Sweden but that would only be if there is a political agreement to let the Swedes extradite him first instead of him being directly extradited from Britain to the US.
The US Department of Justice don't seem to be in too much of a hurry to extradite him to the US. They say they want to prepare their case thoroughly but I suspect there is more to it than that.
The US doesn't need a strong case nowadays to extradite someone to the US. They just need political consent from the UK authorities which in 99% of cases is not a problem.
I am beginning to suspect that the US Justice Department are slow-balling this one because they want to, or have agreed to, allow the Swedes first crack at Assange.
In that respect Assange may be right in the sense that the Swedes are indeed co-operating with the US.
However, such Swedish-British-American co-operation is not necessary to get Assange extradited directly to the US from Britain so the Swedish detour may instead be intended to give Assange a further opportunity to placate the US authorities by agreeing to desist with WikiLeaks spreading US classified documents, perhaps revealing his sources or doing some kind of a deal the US might accept as an alternative to prosecuting and jailing him in the USA?
Perhaps the US authorities are allowing for the taste of prison Assange had last week and a further spell in Swedish custody to serve as a wake-up-and-smell-the-prison-coffee moment of realisation for Assange of his dire predicament and legal danger he is in?
Such a change of heart on the part of Assange might be his one last chance to back off with WikiLeaks, understand that The Machine will not countenance defeat on this one, and try to cut the best deal / plea-bargain on offer with the US?
The "Monopoly" extradition game
Assuming the Swedish sex charges are some kind of "set-up", let's consider them in "Monopoly" board-game terms.
Compared to other simpler set-ups, such as a go-directly-to-the-US-do-not-pass-Go-do-not-collect-£200, the Swedish Chance card set-up may play better for Assange.
If he goes to Sweden, Assange at least passes "Go" one more time and could use that further circuit around the board to come to a working arrangement, deal or plea bargain with the US.
If Assange gets a life-sentence in the US, he will need a very great deal more luck than throwing a double to get out. Pollard has been in there for 25 years for passing classified US documents!
If however, Assange doesn't take the Swedish Chance card then sooner or later the USA will run out of patience, he will go directly to the USA and then he will lose the game.
Now I don't know. All I know is that Condi has got involved. She is very tough but she is also a very compassionate person at the same time. If she has to crush Assange's nuts in a US prison for life to protect US interests then that is exactly what she will do.
However, if there is a more humane solution which also protects US interests then Condi might be exploring that possibility for a while but not stating it explicitly so as to retain the option of pressing ahead with the extradition to the US?
Obama slow to take Condi's get-Assange advice?
The final decision to act or still to delay US action to get Assange to the US by extradition, extraordinary rendition or whatever, is that of US President Barack Obama.
I think I heard a former US state department official on Sky NEWS today saying words to the effect that the relative foreign and defence policy inexperience of President Obama combined with a flat-footed response of Attorney General Holder at the US Justice department is contributing to drift or slow progress towards a US extradition of Assange directly from the Britain to the USA, despite Secretaries Clinton and Gates urging action.
This could be. This insider's comment are much more likely to be well informed than my pure guess that Condi and indeed the whole US foreign and policy establishment wants to allow an opportunity for Assange to be extradited to Sweden to talk about what he has or has not being doing in the bedroom while he think things over as regards WikiLeaks leaking classified US documents and the difficulties that lands him in with the US!
We know Condi wants the US Justice Department to hurry up with the president's ordered review of possible charges but if that is all that the president has asked for then the review of charges could be complete already.
It is hurrying up with the extradition of Assange that the president needs to order and what Condi has in mind but whether President Obama is persuaded of the need for a hurried extradition or if he wants Holder to hold US options open while Sweden beckons for Assange we just don't know.
Condi could be frustrated at Obama allowing Holder allowing Assange an opportunity to slip from the firmer British control to a less firm Swedish grip but her loyalty to her president means she will not want to embarrass the president in public.
Condi will be giving her advice in private directly to Clinton, Gates and Obama himself.
We on the outside are left unsure as to what to think about Holder holding still and what to say about the current gap between Condi's last heard public leadership on WikiLeaks and the Obama administration's no action as yet over Assange.
I have written to the US Department of Justice inquiring about this matter but received no reply as yet though "no comment" would be expected if there was a secret indictment in the works apparently.
Condi needs to appreciate that we her loyal supporters cannot read her mind, much as we are trying to do so. She is our leader. We have taken her leadership on this matter as far as we can at the moment.
If we are to go further then we need a further lead from her but if we get her lead then we will follow.
All we can do right now is repeat Condi's call for Holder to hurry and for really severe punishment and prosecution of Assange while we are left wondering why nothing to that effect seems to be visible or audible as yet from the US administration.- Peter DowRice for President Yahoo Group
--- On Wed, 15/12/10, Peter Dow <peterdow@...> wrote:
From: Peter Dow <peterdow@...>
Subject: [rice-for-president] Condoleezza Rice punishes Assange of WikiLeaks. Photoshop.
To: "Rice for President" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wednesday, 15 December, 2010, 3:46Photoshopped image:Condoleezza Rice punishes Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder.Peter Dow comments on his photoshop -After Condi is finished with him, Assange won't be typing much with his broken fingers and the next time he leaks he will be urinating blood from his bleeding kidneys.
--- On Wed, 8/12/10, Peter Dow <peterdow@...> wrote:
From: Peter Dow <peterdow@...>
Subject: [rice-for-president] Condi whips WikiLeaks. Condoleezza Rice politically dominates Julian Assange. VIDEO
To: "Rice for President" <email@example.com>
Date: Wednesday, 8 December, 2010, 9:14Condi whips WikiLeaks. Condoleezza Rice politically dominates Julian Assange. VIDEO
December 3, 2010. Condoleezza Rice replies to a question by Katie Couric and one from a member of a studio audience about WikiLeaks. Condolezza Rice - "I think what has happened is a crime. It is up to the Justice Department to figure out exactly what crime it is but it's got to be prosecuted and punished or it's going to keep happening and I hope the penalty is really severe because maybe that will deter this kind of behaviour. The United States cannot exist in a world where we can't share information within the government with the expectation that is somehow going to end up on the front pages of newspapers. You can't do business that way. So I hope it is prosecuted and prosecuted severely." The event was organised by the Council on Foreign Relation for their HBO History Makers Series.
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