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Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the US

  • I haven't read the WP article but the actual matter is slightly more nuanced than that headline. At this point Assange has only been given permission to ask the Supreme Court whether they would be prepared to hear his appeal. The supremes are only likely to hear the appeal if they already believe the decision may be wrong on a point of law or if Assange's lawyers can convince them of that.

    The article in the Guardian explains:

    Julian Assange wins first stage of attempt to appeal against extradition
    WikiLeaks founder is seeking to appeal against ruling that he can be sent to US to face espionage charges

  • The Guardian’s explanation is quite clear.  Thanks, @bebopalula .   This raises more questions:

    “Assange, who remains in prison, would have other routes to fight his extradition, irrespective of what happens in relation to any supreme court appeal.

  • I'm ambivalent about Julian Assange and I'll try to explain why.

    First, what do these people have in common? Edward Snowden, Clive Ponting, Chelsea Manning, Sarah Tisdall, Mark Felt and Reg Dawson.

    They were all whistleblowers who leaked information about wrongdoing within organisations where they held trusted positions and they did so because they couldn't live with the injustices they knew about. (Mark Felt, by the way, may well be the whistleblower you didn't realise you knew. And Reg Dawson? If you are Welsh or interested in railways Reg Dawson's story will fascinate you and in its own way is just as important as the others)

    None of them set out to become the centre of attention: Mark Felt and Reg Dawson were never caught, Snowden is in exile, Manning and Tisdall were tried and jailed and Ponting was cleared by a jury that disobeyed the judge's directions but all of them were willing to make personal sacrifices to do what they believed was right.

    What does Julian Assange have in common with these people? I would say very little. I would describe his cause as anarchy rather than injustice because he is not a whistleblower like the others but he created a clearing-house for whistleblowers without necessarily believing in any of their causes. I would say that Assange has put his own safety and security above the causes he espouses: Assange is the story because he has chosen to make himself the story because he doesn't believe in very much else.

    Rather than pair Assange with any of the people mentioned above, I would compare him with somebody like Elon Musk. Musk is a creative genius not only in electric cars but in space flight too. But Musk's story is not really about space flight or electric cars: his story is about Elon Musk. I see Assange as a Musk whose business plan went wrong and I think he should be considered on that basis rather than compared with the idealists who came before.

  • You have brought into focus the troubling thing that I have never been able to put my finger on, bebopalula : the self-serving nature of Assange.

    He, not his message, has always been the story.

    This was not the case with actual whistleblowing heroes like Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, whose love of country and respect for truth propelled him to expose the actions of a lawbreaking president. It is unfortunate that no such truth teller has come forward in the past few years.

  • Thanks to bebopalula for his post on whistleblowers and the like.

    Yes, Assange is a strange character and was obviously looking for personal benefits on his crusade.

    Having said that, I am a little nervous about his extradition and the way he has been treated in prison.

    I get the impression that the UK Government has pressured the "independent" justice system to take a politically motivated decision in their favour.

  • Have to admit it's been one of those stories I've not paid any attention to over the years. Probably read more since finding this thread to be honest. Could be wrong but my thoughts are it's all much ado about nothing.