The Real Assange Problem
I don’t really know, where I stand on WikiLeaks. I think that the content that has been disclosed shows how ill-advised so much of the United States and our, excursions into the Middle East have been. But we knew that anyway!
Whether Julian Assange did sexually assault the two Swedish women, for which that country is seeking extradition, is up to the Swedish courts to decide. I think that even if he is found guilty, he has nothing much to fear. Even in the UK, he’d probably not face a sentence of more than a few years, if found guilty for a similar offence.
His problem though is the United States, its courts and punishment system. They are so out of line with other countries like his own; Australia, Canada and most of Europe. He would probably get a total life sentence for disclosing the US diplomatic cables. Even in this country, I suspect he would get a sentence, but it wouldn’t be that long, as no-one is actually accusing him of stealing the information in the first place. In fact, it could be argued that he did the same as the Daily Telegraph did with MPs expenses. Was anybody prosecuted for their part in that affair? Only a few MPs, who had done wrong.
But then the United States is vindictive with a vengeance rather than a justice system in many instances.
So the Assange case is a bit like trying to make a reasoned decision in a room with a vicious bully outside. Remember too, that Obama has a difficult election coming up, and he would not want to appear soft. Ask Mormon Mitt on the right day and he would say that US troops should invade the embassy, if the British won’t do it.
As it stands at the moment, whilst he is in the Ecuadorian embassy, it’s all a bit difficult. Let’s face it, if Assange had been a citizen of that country and had published some of their secrets, he’d at least be in jail by now. Ecuador doesn’t come across to me, as a beacon of democracy
The only thing we can do, is persuade Assange to go to Sweden and face trial there. If we use force, then we’ll put all our diplomats around the world in danger.
I think there’s a fair chance, that when we have the next General Election, Assange will still be where he is now!