Tag Archives | Assange

Wire Service Dutifully Writes Down Ecuadorean Government’s Claims About the Assange Affair

Picture: VitaliVVitaliV (CC)

From Reuters:

The Ecuadorean government shares Assange’s fears that he ultimately could be extradited to the United States, which is angry that his WikiLeaks website has leaked hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic and military cables.

The leftist Correa, who has high popularity levels and is expected to run for re-election in February 2013, had developed some rapport with Assange during an online interview the WikiLeaks founder did with him this year [for the Russian Government's English Language answer to propaganda outlet Radio Free Europe, Russia Today].

Correa’s stance has been largely cheered by Ecuadoreans, and there have been scattered protests at the British Embassy.

“The whole world should back Ecuador for giving Assange asylum and because this country is the first one to promote freedom of expression,” said Mary Valenzuela, a 39-year-old restaurant owner.

Emphasis on credulousness added.

The UK’s Independent does a slightly better job pulling apart the Cameron government’s attempts to backpedal for its inept chief diplomat:

At least one of the lawyers at the Foreign Office (FCO) expressed concern over the warning that Britain could use the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 to “storm” the embassy building and remove Assange, who faces sex crime allegations in Sweden.

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No, Actually Ecuador Doesn’t Support Press Freedom

Picture: Espen Moe (CC)

Now that Ecuador has granted Julian Assange political asylum, maybe that means he won’t be extradited to Sweden. So, unfortunately, we may never know the truth of whether he transgressed the bounds of consent by failing to use or intentionally removing condoms during otherwise consensual sex. Some Wikileaks boosters have already started treating Ecuador like an international paragon of justice and liberty as a result.

Of course, the various journalists who have been silenced by the Correa administration’s various actions to quash internal dissent might take issue with the theory that Ecuador is a safe haven for the free press.

As SF Gate reported in February 2012, just 6 months before giving Assange political asylum:

Columnist Emilio Palacio had the temerity to question actions by President Rafael Correa. In democracies, this is recognized as a duty of the press: to examine the moves of those in power.

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NY Times, Guardian Newspapers Analyze Their Coverage Of WikiLeaks

nyt mag assangeThis past weekend saw some major introspection by the newspapers that led the mainstream media’s dissemination of the U.S. diplomatic cables provided by WikiLeaks. In the New York Times Magazine, Executive Editor Bill Keller led with a cover article detailing how little they liked or trusted Julian Assange — but worked with him anyway. Describing the visible change in Assange as his media stardom blossomed, Keller writes:

Assange was transformed by his outlaw celebrity. The derelict with the backpack and the sagging socks now wore his hair dyed and styled, and he favored fashionably skinny suits and ties. He became a kind of cult figure for the European young and leftish and was evidently a magnet for women. …I came to think of Julian Assange as a character from a Stieg Larsson thriller — a man who could figure either as hero or villain in one of the megaselling Swedish novels that mix hacker counterculture, high-level conspiracy and sex as both recreation and violation.

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From WikiLeaks to Swedish Tabloid

Hacker, writer, Australian. Julian Assange certainly made a ruckus as the founder and chief of Wikileaks. Now he will be a columnist. Could this change to Aftonbladet be because Wikileaks is trying to get a lisence for journalistic protection and, while operating servers in Swedish, a column connection may just help?  Daily Tech reports:

Embroiled in an international politics controversy and owner of one the internet’s most divisive properties, what’s a man to do?  Well, if you’re Julian Assange, founder and chief of whistleblowing site Wikileaks, the answer is apparently “write for a tabloid”.

The Australian native who rose to infamy as a hacker in the late 1980s and early 1990s, announced in a Saturday interview [Swedish] with Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet that he would be joining the staff.  A translation of the interview can be found here on Mathaba.

In the interview, when asked what is column will be about, Assange comments, “About press issues and about what’s happening around the world.

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