Over the past few week’s I’ve been idly watching the #Assange hashtag on Twitter and the screaming arguments going back and forth. I have no legal training, so what I think I’ll do is simply state the facts that are self-evident.
1. Julian Assange has been accused of rape and sexual assault. The actions he is accused of would be considered sexual assault both in Sweden and Britain.
2. The complainants have a right to their case being investigated. The Swedish police and judiciary have a right to investigate. Mr Assange has a right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
3. The American government would, I’m sure, dearly love to “get” Mr Assange by fair means or foul, though they haven’t made any moves to date. Quite possibly they may be more than happy for him to be stuck in a London embassy for the time being.
4. The Ecuador government no doubt gains a certain amount of political propaganda by being seen to raise a middle finger to the Yankee Imperialist Great Satan.
5. The British government would hand Mr Assange over to the US in the blink of an eye if they asked. Probably far more quickly and easily than the Swedish would. The reason they haven’t is because they haven’t been asked to.
6. Under no circumstances should the British government commit a grievous violation of diplomatic immunity by removing Mr Assange from the Ecuador Embassy.
7. Likewise, under no circumstances should the Ecuador government get away with abusing the concept of asylum for a non-political charge such as rape.
8. The British government should not and almost certainly will not grant Mr Assange safe passage to Ecuador.
So, what should, and almost certainly will happen seems pretty straightforward. Julian Assange isn’t going anywhere. Either he spends the rest of his life in the Ecuador Embassy, or he leaves the building and gets put on a plane to Sweden to answer the prosecutor’s questions. As for any (at this stage, entirely hypothetical) extradition to the United States, that can be protested against when it’s actually proposed.
Oh wait, that’s far too rational. Nobody’s going to agree with any of that! Let me try again.
1. The accusations of rape are clearly bogus! I demonstrate this by repeatedly asserting it!
2. David Allen Green may be a staunchly liberal lawyer with a passion for human rights and who successfully defended the Twitter Joke Trial case. However, his analyses of Assange’s legal case clearly show that he’s also a CIA agent.
3. Green’s refutations of myths about the Assange case are not accurate because I am SHOUTING VERY LOUDLY!
4. Why won’t the Swedish police interview Assange in the embassy? Police are supposed to conduct investigations at the convenience of rape suspects!
5. How dare the US hypothetically try to extradite him to their territory! Those potential swine!
Is that better?