British Foreign Secretary William Hague has issued a statement explaining the United Kingdom’s response to Ecuador’s announcement of asylum for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. It all goes back to that pesky Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act of 1987.
“We will not allow Mr. Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom, nor is there any legal basis for us to do so. The United Kingdom does not recognize the principle of diplomatic asylum.” Gee, rule of law. What a radical concept.
According to interviews given in Ecuador by Assange’s mother, Christine, her poor little baby is suffering. (She displayed pictures of Assange as a child during the interview instead of pictures of him in his new Savile Row wardrobe.) He cannot go outside to exercise and must use a treadmill provided him by one of his wealthy patrons. He cannot enjoy the sunlight or breathe the fresh air. He is confined to a 10 by 12 foot storeroom with minimal furniture and an old laptop. He is just wasting away from boredom and lack of social contact, though his “friends” telephone him and visit when possible. Probably doesn’t even have cable. There is no way to set up his Russian television talk show inside the embassy, so that new career path has collapsed, along with WikiLeaks which is bankrupt and failing.
There’s a quick cure for what ails him. By all accounts, incarceration in Sweden is a real sweet deal, the Club Med of European prisons. If convicted of the charges that Sweden wants to finish investigating, he faces a life-ending sentence of two years. Had he returned to Sweden as promised, he would be free by now, but he wouldn’t have any of those natty British suits he sports these days.