Whaddayaknow? It was all about politics after all
It always seemed peculiar how Sweden went after Julian Assange with such gusto, when the charges against him were so thin. It now turns out that it was never Sweden that really wanted him.
Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012. At the time, Sweden was investigating a series of allegations against him of a sexual nature and had a European arrest warrant for him. Sweden dropped the investigation in May 2017. But Maurizi has obtained emails which show the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) pressured Sweden to keep Assange’s case going.
In August 2012, the CPS emailed Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny about an article that suggested Sweden may drop the case. A CPS official wrote [pdf]:
Don’t you dare get cold feet!!
Then, in October 2013, Ny wrote to the CPS saying that she was “obliged to consider to lift the detention order (court order) and to withdraw the European arrest warrant”. She explained:
There is a demand in Swedish law for coercive measures to be proportionate. The time passing, the costs and how severe the crime is to be taken into account together with the intrusion or detriment to the suspect.
In response, the CPS asked [pdf] for some time to “consider all the angles”. And in December of that year, a CPS official wrote to Ny saying “I do not consider costs are a relevant factor in this matter”. The Metropolitan Police surrounded the Ecuadorian Embassy between 2012 and 2015 at a cost of at least £12.6m.
...Maurizi’s probing has also revealed that the CPS destroyed key emails relating to the case. She also discovered that the UK explicitly advised Swedish representatives not to travel to the UK to interview Assange at the embassy. Assange and his lawyers had offered such an option, which is fairly commonplace.
Whatever you think of Assange, it's beyond clear that UK is purposely keeping him trapped despite Sweden dropping its case as punishment for publishing docs - something everyone from Obama DOJ to @thinkprogress recognized as grave threat to a free press https://t.co/xDP4xPjbIx
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 12, 2018
Assange will challenge his arrest warrant tomorrow in court, but given the bias here, I wouldn't hold my breath.
The other factor in this story is the narrative that Wikileaks works directly for the Kremlin. No, not a useful tool of Russia, but directly for the Kremlin.
First, let’s start with Wikileaks. What began as a broke whistleblowing outlet is now most certainly a laundromat for Russian intelligence—as I wrote in my deep dive into Edward Snowden
...So when I say that Fox News may have received a tip straight from the Kremlin, I mean Wikileaks—which is inextricably linked to Russian intelligence
Americans, and its news media, never bothers to mention how Wikileaks releases data on countries not named the U.S.A.
One of those countries is named Russia.
Right now they still don’t get it, and the delusion that Assange is a Trump supporter is even more pervasive than the equally absurd claim that he is a tool of Russia, who WikiLeaks has also published documents against. Long before the Spy Files dropped last year covering Russian surveillance practices, independent journalist Suzie Dawson documented the thousands upon thousands of other critical Russia documents that WikiLeaks has published over the years and its other obvious signs of lack of sympathy for Moscow. The only thing linking WikiLeaks to Russia is the authoritative say-so of the notorious liars in the US intelligence community and their plot hole-riddled narrative which Assange unequivocally denies.
There is in fact no reason to believe that Assange is a Trump or Putin asset, and there are many reasons not to, but the partisan dynamics of America’s neurotic political feuds will continue to keep people blinkered for as long as the cognitive dissonance is more uncomfortable than keeping their heads up their asses.
Comment: While @WikiLeaks, as a primary source organization with a perfect verification record welcomes debate over "fake news" it should be noted that along with the U.S. establishment press, the Trump administration is a frequent source of false information. #FakeNewsAwards
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 18, 2018