The government of Ecuador is prepared to allow Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to remain in its embassy in London indefinitely under a type of humanitarian protection, a government official said in Quito on Wednesday night. Seeking asylum, Mr. Assange has been holed up for two months in the embassy, where police arrested some of his supporters on Thursday.
Its one of those situations where I'm disgusted with everybody.
Assange is most likely guilty of abetting Bradley Manning in violating his agreement to keep the information he had access to secret - cracking NTLM hashes is not "journalism" and if Assange did that he was not merely a conduit for information.
I'm tired of the masses who see him as an innocent victim in all of this, although I suspect that some don't care about his actual guilt or innocence because they support doxing "the man" for ideological reasons that can largely be characterized as the oversimplifications of youth. Whatever you think about the idealism of Manning and Assange, doxing "the man" is not and should not be legal. You incur certain risks when you do something like that, and the only way you should expect to be free afterwards is if it turns out to be so important that everyone thinks you're owed a Presidential pardon.
Everyone doesn't think that in this case.
Assange may also be guilty of some sort of sexual assault. I am just as sick of hearing people talk about the "most likely legit rape charges" as I am of people who claim the allegations are "obviously bogus." I hate how people prejudge criminal allegations based on their personal feelings about the nature of the allegation and the person accused. I really would like to see that matter resolved by the legal system in Sweden to shut people up about it one way or the other, but I suspect the partisans of that question to be just as unpersuaded by an actual court ruling as the partisans of the "journalism" question are about the testimony in the Manning hearing about NTLM hashes.
I don't understand why a state that does not really support press freedom is keeping this guy from facing justice in either case, but I presume it is a diplomatic bargaining chip. Both the UK and the US have shown absolutely no backbone in their zeal to tear apart both the Internet as well as fundamental norms of International Relations in an attempt to get this guy. As appalling as it is that Ecuador is allowing its embassy to be used to hide an accused criminal from justice, it is equally appalling that the UK has threatened to dissolve the Ecuadorean embassy over it. I'd line it up next to the preemptive invasion of Iraq on the thinnest of rationales, the indefinite detention of people without charges, and the illegal wiretapping program in the US as further examples of the disdain that the powers that be appear to have for the general structure of the rule of law that is the fabric upon which our entire civilization has been built.
If the UK makes good on its threats and marches into that embassy it will be a dark day, indeed. Assange will have done more harm through provoking that action then he ever did by encouraging Manning.
I'm personally tired of this Assange non-sense.