Julian Assange Squared Off With Bill Keller Via Skype
By Joe Coscarelli, Wed., Apr. 13 2011 @ 5:55PM
The battle between Julian Assange and New York Times executive editor Bill Keller took place in person -- well, almost -- over the weekend, for the first time since Keller escalated the beef in a New York Times Magazine tell-all. (There, he called Assange "arrogant, thin-skinned, conspiratorial and oddly credulous," and said he smelled bad.) At U.C. Berkeley's Investigative Reporting Symposium, though, Assange made his presence known via Skype, while Keller too participated in the discussion moderated by Slate's Jack Shafer. SF Weekly's Matt Smith was there and has a run-down of the media drama, including an accusation from Assange that the Times buckled to please Pentagon's in a seemingly unethical way.
First, though, Shafer stirred the bad blood by asking Keller about his pejorative description of Assange:
"We weren't writing an academic report -- it was a story," Keller said. "That was information the reporter brought to me, and it was used as color."
But Assange soon got to more substantive issues, claiming Keller and the Times insisted that WikiLeaks publish information before the Paper of Record, in Smith's words, "in order to preserve the appearance that the newspaper was keeping Assange at arm's length as a source of information no different than any other. The reason for this, Assange alleged, was that the Times wished to avoid looking like it was involved in a conspiracy to unveil secret information and possibly violate the Espionage Act."
"Their role is to hold powerful organizations into account," Assange preached. "It is not to cover up."
Keller, in his Assange story, wrote, "Assange provided us the data on the condition that we not write about it before specific dates that WikiLeaks planned on posting," or the complete opposite of Assange's claim over the weekend. At Berkeley, Keller insisted he merely gave the government a chance to comment before publishing the story, as is customary at an institution like the Times.
He said that during his negotiations with the Times and cocollaborators at the Guardian in London as well as the German magazine Der Spiegel, the Times seemed to take unusual pains to preserve the fiction that the newspaper wasn't collaborating with Assange. That was despite the fact that both sides had engaged in lengthy discussions on how the Pentagon information would be used. Assange said he considers himself -- and Wikileaks -- publishers of information, like the NYT, and that they worked as collegial organizations.
Unusually for a competitive newspaper, the NYT pressed for Wikileaks to publish the documents before it did, in order to preserve the appearance that the newspaper was keeping Assange at arm's length as a source of information no different than any other. The reason for this, Assange alleged, was that the Times wished to avoid looking like it was involved in a conspiracy to unveil secret information and possibly violate the Espionage Act.
"That's why The New York Times is careful to say this was not a collaboration," Assange said."What the Times is afraid of is that one man's collaboration is another man's conspiracy."
Assange went on to assert that Times executives gave unusual deference to the Pentagon when writing about Wikileaks to the point of seeming more interested in concealing rather than releasing information.
"I'm sure you will see Bill Keller boast that they were hand in glove with the Pentagon," Assange said. "But news organizations should be careful to understand their role. Their role is to hold powerful organizations into account. It is not to cover up."
Why do I have to deal with this shit?
Keller, for his part, parried with a cocktail-style joke about how the Wikileaks affair has been the subject of discussions and panels since the series went to print. Keller said he did not work hand in glove with the Pentagon, but rather gave the military the opportunity to respond to stories in advance of publication, as is customary for U.S. news reports.
Assange has "had his revenge. We're now destined to appear in panel discussions about Wikileaks," Keller joked.
Keller did get his dander up after Assange said that watching the American news media cover international events is like watching a goldfish bowl where readers pay little attention to outside perspectives.
Keller seemed to take that as a slight against the prestigious New York Times overseas correspondents. "I have to object to the idea that we're not interested in what happens outside the U.S.," he said. "We have 40 correspondents and stringers overseas, and we have four people who have been killed covering the wars."
Assange said he meant no disrespect to the work of Times correspondents living or dead. But he did get the last word on that topic.
"I say that 40 people covering the entire world in the New York Times, which is the opinion leader of the United States, is a state of desperation," he said.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will learn, later on Wednesday, the verdict in his fight against extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual misconduct. Assange denies the claims and says they are politically-motivated.
One way or another, the moment of truth is approaching the WikiLeaks whistleblower as the British High Court prepared to make a verdict as to whether or not Assange will be extradited to Sweden to face questioning over sexual assault allegations.
Both Assange and the Swedish prosecutors have the right to take the case to the Supreme Court.
If it does go to the Supreme Court, it is likely that the entire basis of the European arrest warrant, under which people can be extradited to other EU countries to face questions with very little evidence, will be put under scrutiny. Many in the UK would welcome that.
If the judge rules out further appeals one of two things will happen. Assange could be set free immediately after 11 months living under strict bail conditions. Or his feet might not touch the ground as he could be extradited to Sweden within 14 days.
Either way, his life’s work is under threat. WikiLeaks is in crippling financial trouble and maybe forced to close in the New Year.
Plutonia wrote:Big day today.
In a few hours we will know the British High Court's verdict in Assange's extradition case:
Wikileaks founder Assange loses extradition fight
02 November 2011
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his High Court bid to block extradition to Sweden where he faces sex crime allegations.
Two judges rejected claims that extraditing the 40-year-old Australian would be "unfair and unlawful".
The Swedish authorities want him to answer accusations of "raping" one woman and "sexually molesting and coercing" another in Stockholm in August last year.
Assange, whose WikiLeaks website published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses, denies the allegations and says they are politically motivated.
Today the High Court upheld a ruling by District Judge Howard Riddle at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, south London, in February that the computer expert should be extradited to face investigation.
Dressed in a sharp, navy blue suit and wearing a Remembrance Day poppy, the world's most famous whistleblower was mobbed as he approached the court building and police had to redirect him away from the crowd.
Assange nodded and smiled at his supporters, who broke into a round of applause as he passed.
Fixed to the iron railings of the court were banners reading "Free Assange! Free Manning! End the wars".
Bradley Manning is the detained American soldier alleged to have leaked hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.
Susan Gianstefani, 44, held a sign asking: "Why are we persecuting the innocent?"
The Australian Christian worker, who had come from south London with her husband to show her support, said: "I think he's a hero for truth and exposing corruption.
"I think they're out to get him - the system in general and, I think, the US and Australian governments.
"He's made a lot of enemies in high places."
Stephen Morgan wrote:He will be sent to Sweden, one of the handful of lapdogs who voted against Palestine's entry to UNESCO, who will hand him over to the Americans to have his brain wiped by solitary confinement, sleep deprivation and so on.
The decision from the Judges in London on Sweden's extradition request of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been announced for November the 2nd. This occasion coincides with a Cyberspace conference in London hosted by the Foreign Office  where the Foreign-Affairs ministers of USA (at last moment replaced by USA Vice President), Sweden and UK shall meet. Coincidentally?
The London conference will gather only four foreign-affairs ministers, among the participants: Hillary Clinton (USA), Carl Bildt (Sweden), William Hague (United Kingdom) and a minister from Holland. The signalled ministers represent exactly the countries that apparently are chiefly involved - by foreign-policy interests or by “legal” involvement - in juridical efforts concerning Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing and cyber-active organization Wikileaks. (ml, ml2)
http://ferrada-noli.blogspot.com/2011/1 ... e-usa.html
Outside the courthouse shortly after the ruling, Assange addressed the crowd of reporters and WikiLeaks supporters, again declaring his innocence. It’s unlikely that this is the last we’ve heard about the extradition. Assange has 14 days to appeal the high court’s decision, and if he can make the case that the appeal is warranted, his case would go all the way to Britain’s supreme court. Outside the court, a somber Assange suggested that he’d continue to fight extradition noting that he would be working with his legal counsel and, “we will be considering our next step in the days ahead.”
Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/11/02/jul ... z1cbblEaEf
Supreme Court Grants Assange Right to Appeal
By ALAN COWELL and RAVI SOMAIYA
Published: December 16, 2011
LONDON —Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks, won a new reprieve on Friday when the Supreme Court here agreed to hear his appeal on an order extraditing him to Sweden to answer accusations of sexual misbehavior.
In the latest maneuver in a legal battle that has lasted more than a year, the Supreme Court set his appeal date for February. If the Supreme Court rejects his argument, Mr. Assange will still be able to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, according to a statement by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, acting for the Swedish prosecutors’ office.. If that court declined to take the case, he would be returned to Sweden.
Mr. Assange has been living under house arrest at a friend’s country mansion in eastern England as the case grinds along. In earlier hearings, Mr. Assange’s lawyers’ claimed that sending him to Sweden would be “unfair and unlawful.” But three lower courts approved the extradition. The statement from the Supreme Court on Friday said a panel of three senior judges had “granted permission to appeal and a hearing has been scheduled for two days, beginning on February 1, 2012.”
Seven judges would hear Mr. Assange’s appeal, the statement said, “given the great public importance of the issue raised.”
The appeal will revolve around whether the Swedish public prosecutor has the legal power to seek Mr. Assange’s extradition. His lawyers maintain that public prosecutors are not judicial authorities and are therefore not entitled to sign arrest warrants.
The Supreme Court ruling was made public on the same day Bradley Manning was to make his first appearance in a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Md. He is accused of leaking the classified American documents that became the most famous of the WikiLeaks disclosures.
Prosecutors have charged him with of aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act by providing Mr. Assange’s organization with hundreds of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables, military field reports and war videos. Last year, WikiLeaks’ release of the documents dominated the front pages of newspapers across the world, including The New York Times. Mr. Assange depicted those releases as a means of seeking publicity for documents he hoped would reshape the very nature of government.
But in August 2010, as he rode a wave of celebrity, he was accused of sexual molestation, unlawful coercion and rape by two WikiLeaks volunteers in Stockholm who said that consensual encounters with Mr. Assange became nonconsensual.
Mr. Assange appeared for an initial interview with the police there that month, but fled to London before further questioning could be completed, a court here was subsequently told.
Swedish prosecutors decided to issue an Interpol red notice and a European arrest warrant to compel him to return last December but Mr. Assange, who denies the charges, has fought the warrants at every turn.
He was briefly jailed a year ago, before being released on bail and placed under house arrest at the country mansion in eastern England.
Protesters and celebrity supporters — including the socialites Jemima Khan and Bianca Jagger and the journalist John Pilger — have often represented the case as a battle for free speech. Mr. Assange himself has suggested that government forces might be behind the allegations of sexual wrongdoing as a means of silencing him.
A spokesman for Mr. Assange did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
U.K. court backs extradition of WikiLeaks' Assange
Updated 6m ago
LONDON (AP) – Britain's Supreme Court has endorsed the extradition of WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange to Sweden, bringing the secret-spilling Internet activist a big step closer to prosecution in a Scandinavian court.
Assange, 40, has spent the better part of two years fighting attempts to send him to the Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in sex crime allegations. He has not been charged there.
The U.K. side of that struggle appeared to come to a messy end Wednesday, with the nation's highest court ruling 5-2 that the warrant seeking his arrest was properly issued — and Assange's lawyer arguing that the case should be reopened.
Supreme Court President Nicholas Phillips, speaking for the majority, acknowledged that Assange's case "has not been simple to resolve," but that the court had ultimately concluded that "the request for Mr. Assange's extradition has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is accordingly dismissed."
Assange won't be sent to Sweden immediately no matter what happens. His lawyer, Dinah Rose, stood up after the verdict to say that court's ruling was based on evidence that was not argued during the appeal, requesting time to study the verdict further with an eye toward trying to reopen the case.
Phillips said he would give Rose two weeks to decide.
Even if the Supreme Court refuses to revisit its judgment, Assange could appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, although extradition experts have said such a maneuver would be unlikely to block his removal to Sweden for long.
If the ruling stands, it would mark a low point in Assange's career. The former computer hacker shot to international prominence in 2010 with the release of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents, including a hard-to-watch video that showed U.S. forces gunning down a crowd of Iraqi civilians and journalists that they'd mistaken for insurgents.
His release of a quarter-million classified U.S. State Department cables in the final months of that year outraged Washington and destabilized American diplomacy worldwide.
But his work exposing government secrets increasingly came under a cloud after two Swedish women accused him of molestation and rape following a visit to the country in mid-2010. Assange denies wrongdoing, saying the sex was consensual, but has refused to go to Sweden, claiming he won't get a fair trial there.
He and his supporters have also hinted that the sex allegations are a cover for a planned move to extradite him to the United States, where he claims he's been secretly indicted for the WikiLeaks disclosures.
Those allegations, paired with protracted legal wrangling in British courts, have caused irritation in Sweden.
Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer who represents the two Swedish women who accuse Assange of sex crimes, expressed relief at the U.K. Supreme Court's decision, but said the British judicial system should have dealt with the case more quickly.
"Now, finally, we have a decision," Borgstrom told the Associated Press, saying the long wait had been stressful for his clients. He dismissed suggestions that the underlying motive behind the extradition is to hand Assange over to the United States.
"He is not at a greater risk of being handed over from Sweden than from Britain," Borgstrom said.
Assange did not appear in court Wednesday. Attempts to reach him for comment weren't immediately successful.
seemslikeadream wrote:including a hard-to-watch video that showed U.S. forces gunning down a crowd of Iraqi civilians and journalists that they'd mistaken for insurgents.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seeks asylum in Ecuador
WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuador embassy in London and has asked for political asylum, Ecuador's foreign minister said on Tuesday.
"Ecuador is studying and analyzing the request," Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters in the capital Quito.
Assange faces extradition to Sweden for questioning over alleged sex crimes after Britain's top court said last week that it had rejected a legal request to reconsider his case.
Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden after two women accused him of sexual misconduct during a visit to the country in mid-2010. His legal struggle to stay in Britain has dragged on for the better part of two years, clouding his website's work exposing the world's secrets.
In a brief, five-point judgment, the British court rejected arguments that Assange's legal team hadn't been given the chance to properly cross-examine the evidence that justices relied on to deny the Australian native's appeal against extradition.
Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer for Assange's accusers, told The Associated Press that Thursday's ruling is "an obvious and expected decision that has been delayed for too long."
The development effectively exhausted Assange's legal options in Britain, and he could be sent to Sweden by the end of the month. Assange could still apply to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, but legal experts say the 40-year-old stands little chance there.
The former computer hacker gained international prominence in 2010 when WikiLeaks began releasing secret video footage and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, many of them about Iraq and Afghanistan, in the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.
That made him a hero to anti-censorship campaigners, but Washington was furious about the release of classified documents.