The London Metropolitan Police entered Ecuador’s diplomatic base in West London on Thursday morning and took Assange into custody after 9 a.m. local time.
Robinson, Assange’s lawyer, said Ecuador’s ambassador to the UK told Assange just before the arrest that his asylum had been revoked.
Assange “barged past” police officers who tried to detain Assange at the embassy, and yelled “this is unlawful” while other officers were required to handcuff him, BuzzFeed reported, citing an unnamed US government lawyer.
Video footage later showed a heavily bearded Assange being forcibly removed from the embassy and placed into a police van.
The International Monetary Fund on Monday approved a $4.2-billion, three-year loan for Ecuador, part of a broader aid package to help support the government’s economic reform program.
The Washington-based lender agreed to the terms of the financing late last month, and the final approval of the IMF board on Monday releases the first installment of $652-million.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the aid will support the government’s efforts to shore up its finances, including a wage “realignment,” gradual lowering of fuel subsidies, and reduction of public debt.
“The savings generated by these measures will allow for an increase in social assistance spending over the course of the program,” Lagarde said in a statement, stressing that “Protecting the poor and most vulnerable segments in society is a key objective” of the program.
Quito is expected to receive another $6-billion from the Development Bank of Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the Latin American Reserve Fund.
The Senate is right now holding a hearing based on the entirely questionable premise that Russian hacking “interfered with” the presidential election. As on any occasion in which democrats are screwing over the Republicans, there was John McCain playing a prominent part.
Just two nights ago, Julian Assange told Sean Hannity that the Wikileaks source was no state actor at all.
As the Townhall quotation makes clear, hacking the DNC was hardly difficult:
Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange revealed to Sean Hannity in an interview that aired Tuesday night that Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta’s email password was “password.” As such, a 14-year-old could have hacked into the system.
“We published several … emails which show Podesta responding to a phishing email,” Assange said during the first part of the interview, which aired on “Hannity” Tuesday night. “Podesta gave out that his password was the word â€˜passwordâ€™. His own staff said this email that youâ€™ve received, this is totally legitimate. So, this is something … a 14-year-old kid could have hacked Podesta that way.”
No link, the author (wussy wimp!), finding himself under fire, deleted the tweet.
The sanctimonious left, represented by HuffPo, Salon, the Atlantic, &c. had a collective cow over liberal Time journalist Michael Grunwald’s Saturday tweet, which simply endorsed one more example of Big Government activism.
According to the New York Times, Julian Assange’s disgruntled former collaborators objected to his self promotion and flamboyant left-wing politics.
As the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fights extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual wrongdoing, a dozen of his former colleagues are creating an alternative Web site for leaks to be governed by what they characterize as a revised vision of radical transparency.
The new organization, OpenLeaks, will begin work in earnest this summer, said Herbert Snorrason, an Icelandic programmer who is involved. It aims, he said, to avoid the â€œinfluence of a single figureheadâ€ by refusing to handle documents itself. Instead, it will act as a neutral conduit to connect leakers with media and human rights organizations.
OpenLeaks emerges from the ashes of a struggle between Mr. Assange and many of his closest associates last September. About a dozen members of WikiLeaks left that month, accusing Mr. Assange of imperious behavior and of jeopardizing the project by conflating the allegations of sexual wrongdoing, which he denies, with the siteâ€™s work. The defectors, Mr. Snorrason said, decided to start their own project.
â€œItâ€™s no secret that we had disagreements with how WikiLeaks was being managed,â€ he said, â€œand a large part of what we hope to accomplish with OpenLeaks is to avoid those problems.â€ …
Though those behind OpenLeaks are at pains not to criticize Mr. Assange, and have repeatedly made it clear that they do not see themselves as his competitors, their aims address many of the barbs leveled at him, the man who has defined a new era of online mass leaks.
It is partly run by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a precise programmer from Berlin who was once Mr. Assangeâ€™s deputy. Since he left WikiLeaks in September, he has been working on a book which he promises will reveal â€œthe evolution, finances and inner tensionsâ€ inside WikiLeaks.
At a recent gathering of the Chaos Computer Club, a hacker community in Berlin, Mr. Domscheit-Berg said OpenLeaks would be neutral and would not rely on secrecy as WikiLeaks does. Those who seek transparency, he said, should â€œstand in the sunlight ourselves and enjoy that we are creating a more transparent society, not create a transparent society while sneaking around in the shadows.â€
The new site must not, he added, â€œcontain any politics and personal preferences or personal dislikes about whatever youâ€™re going to publish or what you must not publish.â€
It is not obvious at all why a world that has the New York Times, the Washington Post, Spiegel, and the Guardian needs another venue for leaking official secrets. It also seems likely that any non-establishment media leaking venue would be highly likely to face criminal prosecution by Western governments. If genuinely neutral, the leakers would also be compromising state secrets from non-liberal Western governments, like Russia’s, which would not necessarily restrict negative responses to legal processes. Lots of luck with that, guys.
Empty Wheel, writing at voice-of-the-treasonous-American-clerisy Fire Dog Lake, shares Assange’s reflexive anti-Americanism and is affirmatively impressed by Assange’s ability to threaten the lives of American allies overseas.
Top officials in several Arab countries have close links with the CIA, and many officials keep visiting US embassies in their respective countries voluntarily to establish links with this key US intelligence agency, says Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks.â€œThese officials are spies for the US in their countries,â€ Assange told Al Jazeera Arabic channel in an interview yesterday.
The interviewer, Ahmed Mansour, said at the start of the interview which was a continuation of last weekâ€™s interface, that Assange had even shown him the files that contained the names of some top Arab officials with alleged links with the CIA.
â€œIf I am killed or detained for a long time, there are 2,000 websites ready to publish the remaining files. We have protected these websites through very safe passwords,â€ said Assange.
Assangeâ€™s messageâ€“on Al Jazeera, in a message directed to â€œthe Arab Streetâ€? If he is disappeared or killed or put away, the names of Americaâ€™s stooges in the Middle East will be released on some outlet like Al Jazeera.
Leaking embarrassing communications from the US government is Julian Assange’s chosen occupation, and it seems only fair for Gawker to turn things around and expose a bit of Mr. Assange’s private life.
It seems that the self-appointed conscience of Western governments, back in 2006, was advertising on an Internet hook-up site called OK Cupid, under the nom-de-guerre “Harry Harrison.”
Assange describes himself as a rebel and a man of mystery, a “Passionate and often pig-headed activist intellectual” seeking someone brave, spunky, but not necessarily formally educated for love,children (!), and the “occasional criminal conspiracy.”
He boasts that he personally directs a “consuming, dangerous human rights project” and advertises that the fortunate lady will encounter a man with a “Nordic appearance” and “unusual presence,” someone so sexually appealing that he is stalked by lascivious Asian teenagers.
Assange’s choice of romantic persona has a lot in common with the self-portrait he has made every effort to purvey to the world’s media. He likes to think of himself as a scientifically-trained, technically skilled man of mystery, a brown-paper-package-bearing crusader mischievously confounding the intelligence directorates of the Great Powers, a modern Captain Nemo avenging humanity’s wrongs through mastery of technology, genius, and audacity.
Julian Assange was looking for erotic non-conformist females aged 22-46, preferably with Third World backgrounds, understandably enough. He seems to have not gotten along terribly well with the girls he dated in Sweden.
The Guardian reports that Assange’s attoneys are trying to make a bail arrangement in which “a security of at least Â£100,000 and a surety â€“ where third parties guarantee to pay the court if he absconds” would allow Assange to be at large while he fights his extradition to Sweden.
[I]f extradited to Sweden under the EAW, Assange will be vulnerable to other extradition requests from countries including the US. The US has an extradition treaty with Sweden dating back to 1960s, when the two countries agreed to “make more effective the cooperation of the two countries in the repression of crime.” Extradition under the treaty is likely to face a number of obstacles, not least the fact that the likely charges facing Assange in the US â€“ under the Espionage Act or other legislation protecting national security â€“ are not included in the exhaustive list of offences set out in the law. There may also be issues of jurisdiction, since the offences which Assange is accused of did not take place in the US.Even if Assange’s case falls outside the scope of Sweden’s treaty with the US, there would still be scope for the country to agree to his extradition to the US.
Swedish law permits extradition more generally to countries outside Europe, although the process is subject to safeguards, including a ban on extradition for “political offences” or where the suspect has reason to fear persecution on account of their membership of a social group or political beliefs.
There are no reports of the Wikileaks “nuclear” retaliation package’s password being released so far however.
The Swiss postal system stripped WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of a key fundraising tool Monday, accusing him of lying and immediately shutting down one of his bank accounts.
The swift action by Postfinance, the financial arm of Swiss Post, came after it determined the “Australian citizen provided false information regarding his place of residence during the account opening process.”
Assange had told Postfinance he lived in Geneva but could offer no proof that he was a Swiss resident, a requirement of opening such an account.
A secret state department cable identifying US overseas vital interest locations was leaked by Wilkileaks, reports the Telegraph.
A February 2009 State Department cable asked embassies around the world to update a 2008 list of vital interests. Unlike most of the documents made available by WikiLeaks so far, it was marked â€œsecretâ€. …
Among the British sites mentioned is a manufacturing facility run by BAE Systems in Lancashire, and the landing station for the transatlantic Apollo undersea cable at Bude in Cornwall.
Sites in the Middle East included the shipping lanes of Djibouti, an import terminal in Egypt, the Suez Canal and the oil terminal in Basra, Iraq.
Called the Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative, the list divides the world into six regions. It makes clear how the US depends on a range of substances from smallpox vaccines in Denmark to bauxite in Guinea and liquefied natural gas in the Middle East.
Also listed is a facility making the rabies vaccines in France and typhoid vaccines in Switzerland.
It also includes the email and direct telephone numbers of two State Department officials compiling the information.
With a Swedish warrant for sexual assault hanging over his head, Julian Assange is again making blackmail threats against the US Government, warns the New York Post.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has circulated across the internet an encrypted â€œpoison pillâ€ cache of uncensored documents suspected to include files on BP and Guantanamo Bay.
One of the files identified this weekend by The (London) Sunday Times â€” called the â€œinsuranceâ€ file — has been downloaded from the WikiLeaks website by tens of thousands of supporters, from America to Australia.
Assange warns that any government that tries to curtail his activities risks triggering a new deluge of state and commercial secrets.
The military papers on Guantanamo Bay, yet to be published, believed to have been supplied by Bradley Manning, who was arrested in May. Other documents that Assange is confirmed to possess include an aerial video of a US airstrike in Afghanistan that killed civilians, BP files and Bank of America documents.
One of the key files available for download — named insurance.aes256 — appears to be encrypted with a 256-digit key. Experts said last week it was virtually unbreakable.
Assange has warned he can divulge the classified documents in the insurance file and similar backups if he is detained or the WikiLeaks website is permanently removed from the internet. He has suggested the contents are unredacted, posing a possible security risk for coalition partners around the world.
Assange warned: â€œWe have over a long period of time distributed encrypted backups of material we have yet to release. All we have to do is release the password to that material, and it is instantly available.â€
What is Assange doing?
L.Gordon Crovitz explains that Julian Assange is a leftwing radical employing a new form of information warfare, using its own information against the United States and the capitalist system in order to create a defensive reaction leading to paralysis.
The irony is that WikiLeaks’ use of technology to post confidential U.S. government documents will certainly result in a less free flow of information. The outrage is that this is Mr. Assange’s express intention. …
Mr. Assange is misunderstood in the media and among digirati as an advocate of transparency. Instead, this battening down of the information hatches by the U.S. is precisely his goal. The reason he launched WikiLeaks is not that he’s a whistleblowerâ€”there’s no wrongdoing inherent in diplomatic cablesâ€”but because he hopes to hobble the U.S., which according to his underreported philosophy can best be done if officials lose access to a free flow of information.
In 2006, Mr. Assange wrote a pair of essays, “State and Terrorist Conspiracies” and “Conspiracy as Governance.” He sees the U.S. as an authoritarian conspiracy. “To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed,” he writes. “Conspiracies take information about the world in which they operate,” he writes, and “pass it around the conspirators and then act on the result.”
His central plan is that leaks will restrict the flow of information among officialsâ€””conspirators” in his viewâ€”making government less effective. Or, as Mr. Assange puts it, “We can marginalize a conspiracy’s ability to act by decreasing total conspiratorial power until it is no longer able to understand, and hence respond effectively to its environment. . . . An authoritarian conspiracy that cannot think efficiently cannot act to preserve itself.”
Berkeley blogger Aaron Bady last week posted a useful translation of these essays. He explains Mr. Assange’s view this way: “While an organization structured by direct and open lines of communication will be much more vulnerable to outside penetration, the more opaque it becomes to itself (as a defense against the outside gaze), the less able it will be to ‘think’ as a system, to communicate with itself.” Mr. Assange’s idea is that with enough leaks, “the security state will then try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby making itself dumber and slower and smaller.”
Or as Mr. Assange told Time magazine last week, “It is not our goal to achieve a more transparent society; it’s our goal to achieve a more just society.” If leaks cause U.S. officials to “lock down internally and to balkanize,” they will “cease to be as efficient as they were.”
The Independent is reporting that the secret web-site’s operations are paralysed and its organization in disorder after the ouster of several prominent members who questioned Julian Assange’s anti-US obsession.
[A] number of former members say that the website’s obsession with pursuing the US military has resulted in Wikileaks losing sight of its founding principle that all leaks should be made available to the public no matter how large or small.
Speaking to The Independent last night, the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange hit back at the claims, accusing former colleagues of being “peripheral players… spreading poisonous false rumours”.
The heavily encrypted arm of the website that allows users to safely send information to the organisation has been offline for four weeks, making new submissions impossible.
According to former supporters, the submission section is down because a number of key personnel have fallen out with Assange over the direction of the website and his behaviour. “Outside of the Iraq and Afghan dossiers, Wikileaks has been incapacitated by internal turmoil and politics,” Smari McCarthy, a former Wikileaks volunteer and freedom of information campaigners from Iceland, told The Independent.
“Key people have become very concerned about the direction of Wikileaks with regard to its strong focus on US military files at the expense of ignoring everything else. There were also serious disagreements over the decision not to redact the names of Afghan civilians; something which I’m pleased to see was not repeated with the Iraq dossiers.”
Wikileaks admits that one member of the submission team has left but says that wing of the website is down for a system overhaul and will be back online soon. …
Birgitta JÃ³nsdÃ³ttir, a member of Iceland’s parliament who recently quit Wikileaks, played a key role in the website’s release earlier this year of “Collateral Murder”, the 39-minute video showing an Apache helicopter gunning down a group of armed men, civilians and two Reuters journalists in Baghdad. Its release brought Wikileaks global notoriety but JÃ³nsdÃ³ttir believes the website should have paid more attention to the smaller, less headline-grabbing leaks.
“I don’t want to take away from the importance of the Iraq dossiers,” she said yesterday. “But I have been saying for some time that before all these big scoops came along, Wikileaks was very much about creating small hubs in different countries where people could leak important information to. It shouldn’t just be about the international scoops.”
The sometimes erratic behaviour of Wikileaks’ founder has also caused a number of fallouts within the organisation. The Australian-born 39-year-old walked out of a CNN interview when an interviewer pressed him on the disagreements within Wikileaks and asked him to comment on an ongoing “molestation” investigation against him in Sweden. Assange, who vehemently insists that recent relationships he had with two women in Sweden were entirely consensual, criticised CNN’s interviewer for dwelling on his private life.
Last month the website’s second most visible face after Assange â€“ a German spokesperson who went by the name Daniel Schmidt, but whose real name is Daniel Domscheit-Berg â€“ broke ranks to disclose that he had quit after being suspended by Assange for unspecified “bad behaviour”. Like others who have since left Wikileaks, he cited both the website’s direction and Assange’s behaviour as motivating factors behind his leaving. “This one-dimensional confrontation with the USA is not what we set out to do,” Mr Domscheit-Berg told Der Spiegel.
Asked about Mr Domscheit-Berg’s comments Mr Assange replied: “Like many former employees who are suspended from a group he has now decided to turn on his former employer. But these are not valid criticisms.”
He also says those who accuse Wikileaks of ignoring whistleblowers outside of Iraq and Afghanistan are wrong.
“We are definitely concerned about that perception, but it’s important to stress that such a perception is not correct,” he said. “Over the past four years we have published leaks from more than 100 countries, from New York to Nairobi. We always prioritise our releases based on their potential impact and the timeliness. The next release will be relating to Afghanistan. After that we will probably do some smaller releases of a timely nature.”
Assange flees CNN interview rather than answer questions on Swedish sex charges.
Sweden’s National Migration Board recently denied Assange a residence permit. He applied for Sedish residency in August hoping to base Wikileaks officially in Sweden with himself as publisher.
Evidently in Sweden, the lesser charge of molestation does not result in an arrest warrant. Perhaps, as in the case of a speeding ticket or a parking violation in the United States, they will simply be mailing Assange a notice with an option to plead guilty and pay a fine or giving him the option to show up in court at a particular time and place to plead Not Guilty.
We have also learned that the original source, the Swedish newspaper Expressen, is a tabloid considered politically on the right.
Today’s Expressen (translated by Google) says the complainant had voluntary sex with Assange but he crossed her personal boundaries. Whatever that means.
Speculative visions of the possible depths of Assange’s depravity boggle the mind. The man looks like a pervert, that cobwebby hair, the furtive eyes, the pouty lips, and the flabby sex offender mouth.
He probably has a taste for the sorts of things that were once proposed as possible sexual definitions of floccinaucinihilipilification during a contest back at college: things involving a 1936 Bendix wringer-type washing machine, five girl scout uniforms, and 36 loaves of bread, mashed potatoes and dwarves. Girls are bound to draw the line somewhere. Perhaps she was merely tired of whipping him.