Photo of Wikileaks supporters outside Embassy of Ecuador, Tuesday 23.30 hours, GMT.
Julian Assange has sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and the embassy has offered him protection. The Ecuadorian Government, it should be noted, offered Assange residency as far back as November 2010, but were forced to rescind that offer after an Interpol Red Notice was issued against Assange by Sweden. If Assange attempts to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy he will be arrested for defaulting on his bail conditions, then extradited to Sweden. In the meantime, in the early hours of Wednesday morning Gareth Pierce, Assange’s solicitor, has lodged a formal request, on behalf of her client, to the Australian Government to provide Mr. Assange with protection (no further details at this stage). Clearly, seeking asylum was a desperate move by Assange and may be a way of buying time so that his legal team can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
No doubt Assange’s main concern was with the bigger picture – the war on Wikileaks by the United States and US determination to have Assange incarcerated in a US penitentiary indefinitely. Very much party to this war are America’s allies, including the UK, Sweden and Australia.
Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister of Australia, has a debt to owe America (she became Prime Minister with their help, as shown by cables published by Wikileaks) and she is a master of how disingenuous she can be when she was questioned on TV by a Wikileaks supporter and then by Julian Assange (via a video stream from the UK) in a 2011 slot – see video below. Almost one year on and despite countless revelations of a Wikileaks Grand Jury and of the infamous sealed indictment (Darker Net even quoted its reference number) Gillard maintains, in true Baldrick fashion, that ‘she knows nothing’ of such an indictment and, in doing so insults the entire Australian population. It is that sort of attitude that has forced Assange to seek political asylum.
It should be added that had Assange been extradited to Sweden, at some point the Americans would have stepped in to fly him off to Guantanamo (Sweden can ‘loan’ Assange to the USA at any point, even from his arrival on Swedish soil). This was the real end game. Assange knew that. It was never about challenging the sex allegations made against him, which from the outset had been clearly politicised by the Swedish prosecution service. It was also obvious that Assange believed that Anna Ardin, his main accuser in the sex allegations, sought to implicate him after she and Assange had spent several nights having sexual intercourse together (and there are recovered tweets to support this) but then found out that he was having an affair with another woman, Sofia Wilen. Assange also believed that Ardin (whose political activities in Cuba and elsewhere were inconsistent, if not suspect – see article) went on to pressurise Wilen into making statements to the police, which remain to this day unsigned, while Ardin’s own accusations were never put in writing. Moreover, Assange was convinced that the Swedish Government, which had its own agenda to see to here, was in league with the Americans.
Assange had tried all legal avenues to fight the extradition to Sweden but had failed. He knew he had to avoid the Americans at all cost. Asylum was his last resort. As for Wikileaks, this will continue, of course, with others stepping in to see it progress or because other wikileaks will be created. Watch this space…