The Flight of The Assange

The appeal to Ecuador's President Rafael Correa to grant Julian Assange asylum belongs firmly in the you-could-not-make-it-up file

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Protests in London in defence of Julian Assange
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Jonathan Bracey Gibbon
On 27 June 2012 10:35

A ghastly bunch of rape apologists and activist clowns have appealed to Ecuador's President Rafael Correa to grant asylum to Julian Assange.

Of course most of these names were from the murky club that bonds conspiracy headbangers with liberal/human rights 'activists' from various backgrounds. But that said, like so many actions of those from the hard left these days, this effort belongs in the you-could-not-make-it-up file.

The fact that they are penning such a craven request to a man who as President is actively seeking to control, by acquisition, all branches of that country's national media and silence detractors through the courts, couldn't be more ironic.

It's hard to know where this sort of collapse in reasoning has come from, but rather like Laurie Penny's principled defence of the Bradford child sex abusers - by screaming 'racist' - against David Starkey's observation that cultural dynamics were at play in the case, it is clear their ilk would actively excuse any offence, no matter how egregious, so long as the perpetrator is a perceived opponent/victim of the US.

The names on this list are entirely predictable: Michael Moore; mostly bad film maker, Oliver Stone; the dictators' friend, Noam Chomsky; activist loony, Danny Glover; he who put the Haitian earthquake down to global warming; 'comedian' Bill Maher, and of course poor little Jemimah Khan, who has gone on record in the UK as wanting Assange to return to Sweden to face the music - and therefore return the £20,000 she put up for his bail.

To paraphrase one tweeter, the list reads like the dinner party from hell.

Presumably those listed continue to defend Assange's publication of the names of dissidents opposed to the likes of the Taliban, and numerous other vicious regimes. But thanks to Assange, secret police forces and punishment squads across the world now have the evidence they need to do their gruesome work, presumably free from the attentions of WikiLeaks.

I for one have never heard the likes of Naomi Woolf, John Pilger, Tariq Ali etc. square that particular circle in their slavish devotion to the silver-haired Aussie.

Furthermore, it is clearly news to this largely US-based roll call of clowns that not only are extradition laws to the US somewhat lax in the UK – compared to say, Sweden – but also there is no evidence whatsoever that any trial in the US would be successful – or desirable – when American courts have made clear that the First Amendment protects independent third parties who publish classified information.

Nick Cohen's critique of Assange supporters’ paranoia over the weekend was seized on by Sunny Hundal in a rather weak observation that one of the signatories was National Security Agency whistle blower Thomas Drake, who was a Republican. Indeed only last week Hundal himself wrote that Assange's supporters will end up destroying WikiLeaks.

The 4000 or so conspiracy theorists who have added their names to the plea to President Correa are immune to the fact that Assange has been damned by the accounts of journalists and members of WikiLeaks staff, let alone by his own rampant narcissism, the political expedience of the leaks, and his refusal to prove his innocence of the accusations against him.

So what next? I am indebted to barrister, Carl Gardner's excellent blog Head of Legal.

His speculation as to where Assange is likely to slither to next is an excellent look under the Vienna Convention into the Bond-like options open, or not, to a fleeing Assange.

The best of these speculates that Ecuador could seek to appoint Assange as its Ambassador to the UN, or some such role.

In the time before such an appointment is assessed by the Credentials Committee and then decided by the General Assembly, Assange could be provisionally appointed and as such could attend meetings in that capacity at UN facilities, enabling him not only to leave London immune from arrest, but to arrive in the US, attend his 'meeting' in Manhattan, and then take a departing flight to Quito - all the way free from capture.

If he were to pull that off, he could then repay the favour by running WikiLeaks in Quito as a division of the 'media empire' of his patron, President Rafael Correa.

And then the circle will indeed have been squared.

Jonathan Bracey-Gibbon is a freelance journalist who over the past 15 years has written for The Times, the Financial Times, The Sunday Times and Sunday Express

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