Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 18th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
Content copyright © 1995 - 2013 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk
Please visit the sponsor!
Ecuador has, as we all expected, granted political asylum to Julian Assange.
Now as with the Dotcom saga, there are those who will argue that the person at the heart of these events has done wrong and should be held to account for his actions.
Dotcom allegedly facilitated mass breaches of copyright, Assange didn't use a condom when he was supposed to.
These accusations may be true, they may not -- these facts are secondary to the bigger issues -- the abuse of process and justice that is becoming increasingly commonplace in today's world and behind which you will inevitably find the USA pulling strings.
Of course the big question on everyone's lips is "what will happen next?"
The British government have already stated that they will be ready and able to use force if necessary to extract Mr Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy, although diplomatic experts consider this most unlikely.
I don't think you have to be a brain surgeon to work out where things will go from here.
Any attempt by Ecuador to spirit Mr Assange out of the UK and back to its own country are likely to be a failure. Although the embassy and its vehicles are considered to be sovereign territory, the problem would be that you can't drive to Ecuador from the UK.
Any attempt to get Assange out of the country would expose him to US^H^H UK jurisdiction and he'd be arrested on the spot. His stand in an airport passenger queue at Heathrow would be a very short one.
The smart thing (but only from the perspective of the UK authorities) to do would be to do nothing.
A 24/7 police presence outside the embassy will ensure that he's not spirited away and eventually it will dawn on Assange and the embassy that being confined to such a small building is effectively a term of indefinite imprisonment.
Sooner or later, someone will decide that "possible" extradition from Sweden to the USA is going to be a risk that needs to be taken if Assange is to be freed from what is now effectively his Ecuadorian prison cell.
Of course if this was all as legit and above-board as the UK, Swedish and US governments claim, the Swedes would have accepted Ecuador's offer to "question" Mr Assange at the embassy -- whereupon, based on the outcome of their questioning, they could choose to either lay formal charges or drop their claims.
That the Swedes choose not to do this speaks volumes for their real motives here -- and I think the world knows that.
The only other possibilities are that Ecuador grant citizenship to Mr Assange and he is employed as a diplomatic official attached to the UK embassy. That would likely give him the immunity he needed to leave the country via regular channels. However, if this is the course of action to be followed, it's one that needs to be done very, very quickly because in the meantime, the UK could still choose to break diplomatic ties with Ecuador and demand that their embassy is closed. If that was done before Assange became a naturalised Ecuadorian with diplomatic status - he would be promptly arrested.
As citizens of this planet, we ought to all be very concerned that a single country, namely the USA, can have so much ability to usurp the processes of natural justice and to influence the actions of another sovereign nation.
Fortunately for us here in NZ, although our government and police seemed more than happy to bend right over for the US government and FBI, our courts are a little more focused on the issue of protecting the *rights* of the people. A big thumbs up for Judges Harvey and Winkelman -- they restore my faith in NZ's justice system.
As for the politicians and bureaucrats that facilitated the unlawful raids on Dotcom's mansion and collaborated with the USA to usurp due process -- well I just hope they reap their just deserts in the fullness of time.
Let's face it -- if you or I raided a millionaire's home, held them at the point of a gun and took away most of their possessions under the directions of a friend from the USA, we'd be spending an awful lot of time in prison.
So why is it that when the Crown and Police do this (an action deemed *unlawful* by the courts) under the direction of *their* US friend -- there are no sanctions applied -- not even a hand-slap?
Unbelievable! Utterly unbelievable!
I certainly hope that commonsense and justice prevails in the Assange saga but as I have learned to accept, when the USA is puppetmaster -- don't expect it.
Please visit the sponsor!
Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines
Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.