Spy vs Spy starring Julian Assange

Just the highlights because the article really looks like an episode of MAD magazine's Spy vs Spy. It even has maps of the embassy and the escape plan.

Revealed: Russia’s secret plan to help Julian Assange escape from UK

Tentative plot to whisk fugitive from London embassy on Christmas Eve was considered too risky

Russian diplomats held secret talks in London last year with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they could help him flee the UK, the Guardian has learned.

A tentative plan was devised that would have seen the WikiLeaks founder smuggled out of Ecuador’s London embassy in a diplomatic vehicle and transported to another country.

One ultimate destination, multiple sources have said, was Russia, where Assange would not be at risk of extradition to the US. The plan was abandoned after it was deemed too risky.

***

The involvement of Russian officials in hatching what was described as a “basic” plan raises new questions about Assange’s ties to the Kremlin. The WikiLeaks editor is a key figure in the ongoing US criminal investigation into Russia’s attempts to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

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Details of the Assange escape plan are sketchy. Two sources familiar with the inner workings of the Ecuadorian embassy said that Fidel Narváez, a close confidant of Assange who until recently served as Ecuador’s London consul, served as a point of contact with Moscow.

In an interview with the Guardian, Narváez denied having been involved in discussions with Russia about extracting Assange from the embassy.

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Four separate sources said the Kremlin was willing to offer support for the plan – including the possibility of allowing Assange to travel to Russia and live there. One of them said that an unidentified Russian businessman served as an intermediary in these discussions.

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Narváez previously played a role in trying to secure Edward Snowden’s safe passage following his leak of secret NSA material in 2013. Narváez gave the former NSA contractor a so-called safe-conduct pass when he left Hong Kong for Moscow, where Snowden eventually found asylum. (no mention that the US state department yanked Snowden's passport while he was trying to change planes at the Russia airport - sd)

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Assange’s Christmas Eve escape was aborted with just days to go, one source claimed. Rommy Vallejo, the head of Ecuador’s intelligence agency, allegedly travelled to the UK on or around 15 December 2017 to oversee the operation and left London when it was called off.

In February Vallejo quit his job and is believed to be in Nicaragua. He is under investigation for the alleged kidnapping in 2012 of a political rival to Correa.

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Sources offered conflicting accounts of who cancelled the Assange operation, but all agreed it was deemed to be too risky. The stumbling block was the UK’s refusal to grant Assange diplomatic protection.

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At the time Assange was facing allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two women in Sweden. In 2012 he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy after he lost a battle against extradition in the supreme court. Assange denies the women’s claims. Swedish authorities eventually dropped both cases after the statute of limitations expired. (?) Assange faces arrest for breaching his bail conditions.

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During the US presidential campaign, Donald Trump praised WikiLeaks for releasing the emails that damaged Clinton. Confidential visitor logs obtained by the Guardian reveal that Assange received several Russian nationals during the summer of 2016, including senior figures from RT, the Kremlin’s international propaganda channel. (lmao)

In March 2017 WikiLeaks published confidential CIA documents. Assange believes a grand jury indicted him over this and other leaks, with the charges filed under seal. Were he to leave the embassy the US would seek his extradition, his lawyers say.

The Ecuadorian government declined to comment. The Russian embassy in London tweeted on Friday that the Guardian story was “another example of disinformation and fake news from the British media”.

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mimi's picture

fine with me and if the folks, who write the good 'ol thruth, would use less words too, it would be fine by me as well.
zzz....
Tired of reading both.

Why don't they write something greenish from Greenland, then I wouldn't see red and wouldn't attach some bricks to my feet and drown myself in the blue waters of salty
oceans.

Ok. I need a break.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@mimi

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4 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

With the Russian's to compel our Fourth Estate to write fictional stories like this in an effort to undermine their credibility with those of us not yet afflicted with Russian derangement syndrome.

Job well done as far as I'm concerned, however, according to some die hard blue fans, the media is actually here to protect us from the big bad Russian colluding monsters. Don't cha know?

Ha!

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20 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

gulfgal98's picture

including my own sanity. If this is indeed true, then the truth is far better than any spy novel every written.

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14 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

mimi's picture

@gulfgal98
at the place I worked (dpa = German wire service).

the truth is far better than any spy novel

Therefore I never could or would read spy novels. Real life storied beat them all the time. Smile

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9 users have voted.
Deja's picture

I don't recall whether it was a convo here or just thoughts in my own head, but back when Her Heinous asked, 'Can't we just drone this guy?' we (I?) wished he could make it to Russia like Snowden. Wide open spaces, sunshine, fresh air, as opposed to years of basic indoor-only house arrest.

On the flipside, trusting anyone to facilitate the move would be a blind leap of faith, and then the possibility of crossing paths with a U.S. paid mercenary would be extremely high and stressful. Dead man walking.

Oh, and I thought the charges re: the two women were dropped by the prosecution. I don't recall statute of limitations being the reason, but it's been a while.

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"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Bisbonian's picture

@Deja at least, as I remember it. Nothing to due with a statute of limitations.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

snoopydawg's picture

@Deja

being dropped. They weren't dropped because time ran out. This is why I highlighted that and put the (?) next to it. IIRC the women didn't actually accuse him of rape. This is just one of the errors in the article. There are more. They had sex without protection and one of the women asked if he could be compelled to take an HIV test. This is how the whole damn thing started. I don't recall what the other woman said. After one prosecuted dropped the case this country put pressure on another one to go after him on possibly trumped up charges.

When Assange challenged his bail after the case was dropped the judge hearing the case had so many conflicts of interests she should have recused herself. She didn't and he's still stuck in the embassy. You might be able to find the information on this by searching for his bail hearing.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

@Deja unless he did not publish documents about the corruption in Russia

it is a country with a strong mafia and lots of stuff to hide and Assange has in the past published thousands documents about Russia

Snowden is a different case since he is an American and everything he published were internal NSA documents.

Snowden is dealing with cyber issues and has criticized Russia, but I don't see him being a journalist that would be on the lookout for documents about Russia

And it is a way to piss off America to allow Snowden to stay

***
Saw Michael Moore's movie last night

One of the things that Nazi did was to punish (or kill) whistle blowers and let criminals use the power of the state. You know, like we have goon full speed ahead with Obama leading the way and Trump trying to do it even better.

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snoopydawg's picture

@DonMidwest

One of the things that Nazi did was to punish (or kill) whistle blowers and let criminals use the power of the state. You know, like we have goon full speed ahead with Obama leading the way and Trump trying to do it even better

As we all know the only person who went to prison for torture is the one who blew the whistle on it. The one who was very involved with it is now running the CIA. Go figure!

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8 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Too many reports about Assange/Wikileaks lately - including the strange disappearance of one of his associates, Arjen Kamphuis.

The situation has become untenable for everyone involved.

My guess is something's gonna give - probably after the mid terms.

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16 users have voted.

The drama of the deep state in full factional meltdown makes Mario Puzo look like a dime store hack.

Deja's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger
And possibly his identification papers.

https://www.thelocal.no/20180914/norway-police-find-missing-wikileaks-as...

Maybe he's going underground to spring Assange? The article says his relationship to wikileaks and Assange are overblown. Dunno. However, the theory about a CIA hit sounds plausible. Russian hit theory has me asking, what on earth for?

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12 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

CB's picture

with the rabid anti-Russian Putin hater Luke Harding in the byline is guaranteed to be "insulting and stupid" propaganda.

Here's what Off-Guardian says about his last report and up-coming book about the Skripal fraud:

Skripal Case: Luke Harding’s latest work of fiction

Luke Harding likes writing books about things that he wasn’t really involved in and doesn’t really understand. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, that covers pretty much everything...
...
The entire narrative is created around half a dozen screen caps of two (allegedly) Russian men, not behaving in any way illegally or even suspiciously. All the rest is fiction, created by a hack to service an agenda. This isn’t one of those “You couldn’t make it up” stories, it’s not that incredible. It’s just insulting and stupid.

You could make it up, and he did.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@CB ...then it started becoming the premier source of Silicon Valley-bashing (despite being based near-literally on the other side of the world). Having grown up there in its halcyon days, I've been smelling something ever since the INCREDIBLY sudden mass-jerk in places I used to swear by, from Silicon Valley being recognized as the model of Blueness parallel-universe-where-the-Counterculture-at-least-partly-won that I remember helping define me, to (Gleeful?) non-stop demonization and scapegoating, above and beyond the legitimate (most of which is about social media and other low-middle-brow fare, and who's to blame for ITS success, hmm?).

It's not even the only context I've seen this shit: When did Jason Fox from Foxtrot and Dexter Douglas AKA Freakazoid! somehow become Biff from Back To The Future and Gaston from Beauty & the Beast (and why the sudden, recent re-preoccupation in certain circles with that movie, entirely disproportionate even from the Little Mermaid and Aladdin nostalgia)???

If ya like that, of course, I can drop another pop-culture reference I'm put in mind of by all this: Potterverse gadfly Rita Skeeter.

Not to mention, on a more personal note, the increasing degree to which I've come to perceive Back To The Future as a prescient political allegory, and not at all in a fun way. Yeah, Trevor Noah's "President Biff" joke back in 2016 was downright uncanny, but that's not what I'm talking about at all: I'm talking about the feeling of winner-takes-all competitive cliocide, and the personal annihilation and public damnatio memoriae of whoever gets their past erased. As if everything wasn't bad enough before, that's what I've been experiencing more and more and more...Nevermore.

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“The enemy wasn't men, or women, or the old, or even the dead. It was just bleedin' stupid people, who came in all varieties. And no one had the right to be stupid.”

― Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

Trevor Noah's "President Biff" joke back in 2016 was downright uncanny.

Adolf explains....

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10 users have voted.

The drama of the deep state in full factional meltdown makes Mario Puzo look like a dime store hack.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

I get that same creeped-out feeling walking those old haunts. I call it my 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' moments. They look like people I knew, in places I knew. But their souls have been replaced.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Pluto's Republic IT'S NOT JUST MEEE!

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is EXACTLY what I've been put in mind of (that and things I've actually seen, e.g. Coraline, or any number of Star Trek episodes).

1_CPs8DxoZev7caL8IIecSBw.jpeg

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11 users have voted.

“The enemy wasn't men, or women, or the old, or even the dead. It was just bleedin' stupid people, who came in all varieties. And no one had the right to be stupid.”

― Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment

@The Liberal Moonbat

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snoopydawg's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

Excellent reference. This is exactly how the article was written. The truth is obviously absent in it and it goes from one topic to another and has some that have no bearing on facts. Well done mate.

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11 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

mimi's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat
when I need it.

It's not even the only context I've seen this shit: When did Jason Fox from Foxtrot and Dexter Douglas AKA Freakazoid! somehow become Biff from Back To The Future and Gaston from Beauty & the Beast (and why the sudden, recent re-preoccupation in certain circles with that movie, entirely disproportionate even from the Little Mermaid and Aladdin nostalgia)???

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5 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@CB

luke's just a storyteller (as he self-identifies), and frequent charges calling his stories 'yellow journalism' are due to a twist on his sleuthing out Evil Roosians by their frequent use of 'yellow' emojis.

he's also correct that roosia's massive propaganda war against the west...ain't working, on accounta actual polls show it to be true! putin id it! and did it all! and is planning more Evil for the amerikan midterms!

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