One would hope that there are moments when Tom Stoppard or Edward Albee think to themselves how well the saga of Julian Assange would take them back to their wondrous, post-modernist days as icons of the Absurdist movement. On second thought, Jennifer Saunders could probably write this one. There was this one episode of AbFab when Edina went to court….
Assange’s attorneys have filed, as expected, a request for the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to reopen the appeal against the multiple lower court rulings that Julian Assange should be extradited. The basis of the request is lawyer Dinah Rose’s statement at the time of the initial ruling on May 30, that the issue of the legitimacy of the Swedish warrant was not what Assange’s attorneys had argued, and therefore, they had no opportunity to argue that issue or cross-examine any witnesses on that issue.
Asking for the Supreme Court to reopen a case is an extremely rare event in Britain, and there is virtually no precedence for determining how long the Court may take in rendering a decision on the request. As Assange’s case has wound its way through the British courts for the past two years, his ever-changing cast of legal representatives (the press keeps changing what they call these people – barristers, lawyers, attorneys, idiots) have argued every imaginable reason for Assange to remain at large. One by one the reasons have been refused – his actions are not a crime in England, there is no justification for his return since he could be questioned in England, the accusations and extradition request are fronts for the CIA to grab him and drop his sorry ass in Gitmo or out a plane door over the Atlantic, on and on and on. And one by one the reasons have been adjudicated as irrelevant and/or pure nonsense, until, at last, the only legally relevant point is the legality of the extradition warrant.
To recap: Assange has been accused of humping a sleeping woman after having consensual sex with her, and is accused of coercing another woman into unprotected sex. Both are covered under the rape laws of Sweden. Assange admitted to the acts in a television interview, but says that only makes him guilty of being a sexist pig, not a rapist. He is demanding one law for him because he’s an international celebrity and one law for any other man in Sweden who commits the same acts. During the initial investigation of the charges, Assange asked the Swedish prosecutor for permission to travel to Britain on business, promising to return immediately. Instead, he dug in and refused to return. Under international law, the Swedish prosecutor issued a warrant for his return to complete the investigation. Assange has spent millions of dollars of WikiLeaks’ and other people’s money to stay in Britain, living on two luxurious estates, having himself made over from a smelly street bum into the very picture of a British metrosexual. He has bankrupted WikiLeaks while whining that the money problems of his site are the fault of the United States, Visa, Mastercard and Paypal – even though there were ample avenues for donations to be made to the site. The allegation that he would be turned over to the CIA is based on a hacked document from a private security company called Stratfor which claimed there was a secret indictment of Assange in the pipeline, but that only surfaced within the past year and Assange was playing his paranoid “they want to kill me” card even before this whole thing started. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assured the Swedish government just last week that we have no interest in Assange, and his WikiLeaks associate Brigitta Jonsdottir (who was one of only two people in WikiLeaks that America actually could charge with a crime) was able to come and go in the United States as part of her participation in a lawsuit against our government over the “security” aspects of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Her side won the suit, by the way.
Assange admitted to the acts he is accused of, and it wasn’t some “jailhouse confession” to a cellmate. He did it on television. It’s in the public record. Heck, you can Google it if you want to. The only thing that is going to keep him out of a Swedish jail at this point is continued flight. Just for sheer arrogant hubris, for the ultimate in sexist chutzpah, the Supreme Court should order him chucked on the next plane to Stockholm.
Someday, the heavens willing, it will finally sink in to Assange’s rabid fans that the United States doesn’t need to do anything to Assange. Why should we bother pursuing him? He’s already destroyed WikiLeaks and destroyed his hard-won credibility. And he did it all without any help from us. Thanks to Assange and his blind faithful, WikiLeaks is now a footnote to history. After all, this request to reopen the case was so unimportant, it’s not on any of my headline services. I had to get the information from Fox News, of all places, because it still hasn’t hit The Guardian, The London Times or the BBC international services, as of 10 a.m. Eastern U.S. time.
Moving over to the really important stuff….the United States military court has refused a motion by Bradley Manning’s attorneys to dismiss some of the charges against him. This was the expected outcome when the motion was filed. Manning’s case will unwind over months, probably taking us into 2013 before any final verdict is decided. Justice delayed is justice denied, but so is justice rushed.