In a phone interview with the Sydney Morning Herald from inside the Ecuadorian embassy where he is hiding out, Julian Assange said that he would be willing to go to Sweden if he received assurances from the United States, the United Kingdom ad Sweden that he will not be pursued by the American government for not having committed a crime. He claims that hacked documents have shown the United States government convened a secret Grand Jury to start prosecution of him for receiving and publishing stolen military and State Department files. What the US government did investigate, well over a year ago, was not the publication, but whether or not anyone in WikiLeaks recruited Pfc. Bradley Manning or instructed him in any way as to how to send them the files he had downloaded. It was for this reason that the government subpoenaed the Twitter accounts of several members of WikiLeaks’ management. So long as WikiLeaks had at the time Manning stole the files a physical address on their websites for sending them materials, there is no criminal case to be prosecuted.
Assange told the Sydney Morning Herald about his going to Sweden that “Ultimately it may be a matter of what guarantees the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden are willing to provide. For example, if the US were to guarantee (it would) drop the grand jury investigation and any further investigation of WikiLeaks publishing activity, that would be an important guarantee…diplomatic commitments do have some weight.” They do? I thought this was the man who said no government, and especially the American government, could be trusted.
He is also pretty ticked off at the government of Australia. He claims that his situation is “a serious political matter…(that) the Australian government should treat with the seriousness it requires. I have been attacked by the US, from the vice president down, as a high-tech terrorist, and by the Swedish prime minister and foreign minister. Surely that requires some direct response from the Gillard government.”
I’m insulted. I have spent over a year, since my very first post as a member of this blog, calling Assange a preening, posturing, posing prick who victimized two young women in their beds and is continuing to victimize them while scamming very rich idiots out of a lot of money and forgetting his promises to assist in the defense of the real hacker, and Assange didn’t even mention me.
The Australian government has told Assange that first of all, he’s not in Australia and therefore not within their jurisdiction, and second, he has committed no crime in Australia. Assange wants the Gillard government to “protect” him from his paranoid delusions. The Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on Sunday that there was “no hint” of any plans to extradite Assange to the US, which fits with the announcement made over a year ago by the Holder Justice Department that no charges could be filed against Assange for any crime in the United States.
We didn’t prosecute the newspaper editors who published the Pentagon Papers, have not arrested the New York Times editors who published the Manning data, have not filed for extradition of any member of WikiLeaks or the editors of The Guardian or Der Speigel. This demand for diplomatic assurances is comical, just another instance of Julian Assange believing he is far more important to the world than he really is. It must have really upset him when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Sweden last month and her visit was not centered on Assange’s extradition. Being ignored is something Assange truly cannot tolerate.