UPDATE 4/11/19: In our most recent article in the "Assange Watch Series, we go "Beyond the Headlines" to bring you a Constitutional analysis of this situation.
It is being reported that Wikileaks Julian Assange has been arrested! Or has he? This all started yesterday when word started spreading about the potential arrest through Wikileaks tweets.
It has been six years since Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, fled to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to seek asylum from possible extradition to the United States to face indictment under the US Espionage Act.
At the time, Assange, an Australian national, was wanted by Sweden for questioning over sexual offense allegations. Assange had also broken the terms of his UK bail. Since then, he has become even more controversial, having published US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails and internal emails from Democratic Party officials.
The US grand jury investigation of Assange under the Espionage Act was apparently based on his publishing the leaks for which Chelsea Manning, a former US army soldier, was convicted. Her sentence was commuted.
Assange has agreed to surrender himself to the British police – but only if he were granted assurances against extradition to the US, where he could face life in prison. He also offered to appear in Sweden if Sweden would offer similar assurances.
BREAKING: A high level source within the Ecuadorian state has told @WikiLeaks that Julian Assange will be expelled within "hours to days" using the #INAPapers offshore scandal as a pretext--and that it already has an agreement with the UK for his arrest.https://t.co/adnJph79wq— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 4, 2019
Wikileaks also reported that they had discovered an "agreed to press strategy" that would be used in conjunction with Julian's arrest. And a British newspaper has claimed that UK police have "rented an apartment overlooking the Embassy's front door to keep the building under constant surveillance"
WikiLeaks has obtained agreed Assange press strategy— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 5, 2019
1. UK lead
2. Ecuador will say Assange has broken many of its invented "asylum terms"
3. UK will say won't let US kill Assange, due process. Ecuador will pretend that this is a concession and that asylum was for death penalty.
Rumors have been flying around for a couple of weeks as we even reported about a DOJ plane flying to London, presumably to either negotiate with Assange or the Ecuadorian government. You can read all about that scare HERE, and the follow-up HERE.
But the plane apparently, left early and without Julian Assange. No one really knows exactly what the plane was doing there, but clearly the intensity is up and people are on edge waiting for something to happen in this case!
But, as is usual with these cases and breaking news, there is confusion as to what is really going on. Although there are reports of police renting an apartment across the street, and eyewitness accounts to a build-up of police out in front of the Ecuadorian Embassy, other reports are contradicting this.
Ecuador denies decision made to expel Wikileaks founder
In the latest report from fox news Ecuador denies that they have made any decision to expel Julian Assange.
A senior Ecuadorian official said no decision has been made to expel Julian Assange from the country's London embassy despite tweets from Wikileaks that sources had told it he could be kicked out within "hours to days."
A small group of protesters and supporters of Wikileaks' founder gathered Thursday outside the embassy in London where Assange has been holed up since August 2012. He has feared extradition to the U.S. since WikiLeaks published thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables.
Ecuador's foreign ministry released a statement saying it "doesn't comment on rumors, theories or conjectures that don't have any documented backing."
Later, a top official said while Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno was angered by the apparent hacking of his personal communications, he denied WikiLeaks' claim and said no decision had been taken to expel Assange from the Embassy. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter.
On Tuesday, Moreno blamed WikiLeaks for recent allegations of offshore corruption that in appeared in local media outlets and the publication of family photos to social media.
Moreno accused WikiLeaks of intercepting phone calls and private conversations as well as "photos of my bedroom, what I eat, and how my wife and daughters and friends dance."
Moreno provided no evidence, but the speech reflected ongoing tension between Assange and his hosts at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
WikiLeaks in a statement called Moreno's charges "completely bogus," saying it reported on the accusations of corruption against the president only after Ecuador's legislature investigated the issue.
Assange's defense team suggested on Twitter that Moreno was trying to use the scandal to pressure the WikiLeaks founder.
As this all has been unraveling the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister tweeted the following adding to the rumors.
As rumors swirl about Julian Assange's potential expulsion from the Ecuador Embassy in London, Ecuador's Foreign Minister tweets "diplomatic asylum is a sovereign matter of a State, which has the right to give it or take it way unilaterally when considered justified.' @wikileaks https://t.co/N3cP4gR1uE— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) April 5, 2019
For now, this appears to be another one of those rumors we will never know is true or not until it happens!
We will be keeping our eye on the situation if anything develops!
Catch up on these other recent posts about WikiLeaks and Assange below. Also some additional thoughts about the topic further down.
The History of Lawlessness
In 2016, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found Assange’s stay in the Ecuadorean embassy, enforced by the alternative of his potential extradition to the US, to be an arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
Ecuador, offended by Assange’s political comments, this year has denied him internet access and visitors, other than occasional contact with his lawyers. Ecuador denied Human Rights Watch permission to visit him this May. Concern is growing over his access to medical care. His asylum is growing more difficult to distinguish from detention.
I think Assange wants this over as much as anyone. But a different battle rages outside when it comes to Wikileaks and Julian Assange.
Should the leaking of classified information be considered "news" and not covered by what some consider the overly-broad "espionage act"?
He has been apparently indicted by a Grand Jury, and if we believe in our system then we should use it. It will be a matter for a jury to decide whether it should be invoked or not.
I don't believe that anyone should be able to release classified information into the public without controls. This includes the press.
While some liken Assange to do the same thing the press is doing; that's probably true. That this is just some attempt by the Trump administration to go after the freedom of the press is likely an exaggeration.
If it is against the law, then it is against the law. If Assange can leak classified information, then what keeps Joe Blow sitting at his desk at the NSA reading emails from doing the same thing?
The window for abuse in such cases is wide open. Some things can be considered under Whistle-blower protections, but there's also a process for this. I may understand a different approach if those you are having to go through are the one's you are blowing the whistle on.
But these are broad generalizations about journalists being able to release whatever information they want, and if Julian is a journalist, then we are all journalists. All with no rules, no laws, no regulations.
We simply can't just let everyone run around releasing all classified information willy-nilly.
If there is corruption we should know!
If there is corruption, then the people most certainly should know about it. There is plenty of information that can be released without revealing classified information.
But, there is also a process for releasing classified information for review under whistle blower laws. Maybe, I would be more open to some of this in exceptional circumstances.
The circumstances could include the process was followed and the information buried or covered up. Or, that the process requires you to report the corruption to those that are corrupt and you tried others options to no avail.
But, to hack people's personal information, or be the mode of delivery of people's personal information, and release that into the public on it face, just isn't right.
As much as I want to stomp out corruption, secrets, and the lies especially in Washington, but around the world as well, there must be a proper process for doing so.
We have already seen this method of leaking being used as a tool by the Deep State to slander and try to destroy their political opponents.
When do the leaks become the lie? Or have they already? The problem is that the Deep State controls the flow of information in this country at least. If they want to leak something and make you believe that it is the truth, then they can, and I'm certain that they have.
The massive amount of leaks that the Deep State engaged in during the early parts of the Trump administration were specifically orchestrated to bring down a sitting President and played a part in a political coup attempt that has ultimately failed.
If we are to say that Assange can release whatever "classified" information that he wants, and so can everyone else, then we are doing nothing but arming the Deep State against us all in my opinion.
The only reason we are even having this conversation is because the whole system has failed.
I could potentially see a plea deal being made to work with Assange if he has more information that could help to route out Deep State actors that have been engaged in illegal activity. But, that information release would have to be to the proper authorities and in the proper process.
I certainly understand the frustrations. Our whole government has failed us, the media has failed us, the whole damn system has failed us.
But if we allow such lawlessness to go without punishment, then how is that any better than those we need to punish by releasing the information?
It seems as though out of frustration people want to sell their souls to the devil in order to satisfy the moment. But, to operate without laws, without rules, without a system, means that we have no system.
If our country gets to the point where we can no longer fix the problems within our system, then I will be all for releasing whatever anyone wants to, because at such time we won't have a system, or a functional government left.